- London EDITION
- The British chef Jason Atherton is the owner of a global restaurant empire.
- As a jet-setter, he has some simple advice for getting the most out of food on the road.
- He says you should always ask for hotel food to be served with a cloche on top instead of in a hot box.
- He also follows something called the “one-year rule” when picking a new restaurant.
The British chef Jason Atherton, who trained under Gordon Ramsay, is a jet-setter.
The owner of a global restaurant empire, he owns the London-based Michelin-starred Pollen Street Social, Dubai’s Marina Social, and Clocktower, the restaurant inside New York’s Edition hotel, just to name a few.
As a man with good taste, he has some advice for getting the most out of your food while you’re on the road.
Speaking with LiveMint, Atherton said there was one simple thing to ask for when ordering hotel room service that would ensure it’s not only served fresh but is also delivered before anyone else’s order.
“If I order room service, I always, always say: ‘I don’t want my food in a hot box. Leave it on the table with a cloche on top.’ Because any food in a hot box, pasta or steak, will stew and go soggy, of course – but they will bring your food first, because it can’t be left to sit around (and get cold).”
He added: “Every general manager wants to change the world when it comes to room service. And I’ve said, ‘Look, if you actually think about it, room service is about getting it to the room as fast as possible.’ But if the room-service guy has 20 orders to run up and down a massive building, he’ll tell me it’s going to take 40 minutes. Forty minutes too long, right?”
In terms of choosing a new restaurant in a new city, he says he has learned from his experience opening 17 restaurants that a restaurant is never at its best when it first opens – so he follows a “one-year rule” before visiting a new one.
“After about a year, a restaurant matures and really starts to find its feet,” he said. “The staff gets to know their regular customers, the chef knows the suppliers really well – when they’re not scared stiff waiting for the critics to walk through the door.
“You want all of that hullabaloo to die down, so you get a real experience of what that restaurant could really do. So make sure a restaurant you book is at least one year old. Speak to most top chefs, and they’ll say exactly the same thing.”