Jeremy Chan

SEASON 3, EPISODE 9

In this episode, Justine interviews Chef Jeremy Chan as he shares about

Born in the North West of England, Jeremy’s journey into professional kitchens was far from traditional. An intuitive academic, his early years through to adulthood were spent soaking up the ever-changing world around him. Sciences, languages, arts – nothing within or outwith school escaped his restless enthusiasm. However, his one constant in all this was food, and he early recognised its link to his studies, the senses, and the part culture played too.

This analytical mindset led him to university, and after graduating in Languages and Philosophy, he found himself back in Europe working in business for two years. Realising this was ill-suited to his many interests, he instead found himself drifting back to his one constant, avidly reading, analysing and researching everything he could about chefs and gastronomy. The more he read, the more immersed and impassioned he became, and he knew in what direction his career would take.

A chance conversation with childhood friend and now- business partner, Iré Hassan-Odukale ignited a spark around the possibilities of new restaurant concept. A period of intensive research ensued and what emerged was a series of new dishes with unique international flavour profiles and a desire to forge a new culinary narrative. For almost five years, he worked tirelessly, absorbing every last bit of information, taking notes, researching in his free time and immersing himself in the physical and mental repetition of acquiring skill and technique to master the craft of cheffing.

He reached out to Professor James McCann from Boston University, a specialist in the history of grains; he worked with the Umami Information Centre, a global online platform founded in Japan; studied the medical journal, African Ethnobotany in the Americas and resourced an extensive collection of books and manuscripts from The British Library.

Fascinated, Chan immersed himself in the culture and tastes of a new world of flavour but approached the ingredients with a considered open mind and little initial aesthetic agenda. Using Iré for feedback, he began combining his culinary skills and ideas with British ingredients. As this process developed, so did his innate creativity, and he became less bound by geography. A series of new dishes with unique international flavour profiles emerged, driven solely by his search for ‘deliciousness’, and the concept of Ikoyi was born.

Working directly with select British farmers, fishermen and producers, the kitchen is driven by a totally objective, creative reaction to micro-seasonality and often overlooked ingredients in terms of context and culture. A pure, personal expression through Jeremy’s analytical lens, dishes harness flavour highs while respecting the nature of each ingredient. The result are menus that surprise the senses with a balance of heat and umami, with dishes imagined in the first instance artistically for visual impact and only then are recipes created.

Website: www.ikoyilondon.com

Instagram: @jeremychanikoyi & @ikoyi_london

Thank you for listening. Subscribe now so you don’t miss an episode.

Follow Justine on Instagram to keep up to date with all her restaurant visits and reviews and much more and The mymuybueno Group here too.

Be part of our culinary community, use our hashtag when posting your best dishes and when searching for inspiration #mymuybuenochefs . Learn with mymuybueno Academy of Culinary Arts with all the amazing chefs teaching on our online academy.

#mymuybueno #mymuybuenochefs #mymuybuenochefsgetpersonal #eatlivelearn