Chef Name: Kirk Haworth
Title: Chef / Co-Founder Plates London
Northwest Young Chef of the Year
How old were you when you started cooking professionally?
What’s your earliest and fondest first memory of food?
My mum’s winter vegetable broth with dumplings.
Which chefs inspire you most and why?
My father Nigel, because his work ethic and determination is fascinating and he taught me the basics of cookery, I owe a lot to him.
Doug McMaster from Silo – he thinks very differently. For me he’s one of the most forward-thinking chefs in the world; we resonate in our approach a lot and we share a lot of the same visions.
What are your two favourite cookbooks and why?
The French Laundry Cookbook because it was the first cookbook I ever really read, and I remember reading about blanching green beans when I was 16 and it’s stuck with me since that day – the care, love and passion is immense. I was lucky enough to witness it first-hand when working there.
Which two ingredients could you not live without?
Olive oil and salt.
What is your favourite comfort food to cook at home?
Pasta with tomato sauce, loads of chilli oil and fresh basil.
If you could eat at any Michelin star restaurant in the world today, where would it be and why?
Eleven Madison Park, because he’s just started on his plant-based journey which is something I’ve been trying to progress for the last six years. It would be inspiring to see what he’s creating with such a great platform and team.
And who would you take as your guest?
Denzel Washington, I’m sure he’s hanging around NYC a lot!
What do you look for in a good chef?
What type of person they are is way more important to me than a CV full of stars: Good attitude, loads of passion, determination, a love for food and a will to learn.
What advice would you give to chefs starting their career paths now?
Find a restaurant/chef that really inspires you but is still also cooking in his kitchen, and go and learn as much as you can. Believe in all your dreams and never give up until you achieve them.
How has the pandemic affected your restaurant? And how did you adapt and evolve throughout?
It’s affected us tremendously, we were meant to be moving to a brand-new restaurant only a few months after the pandemic started, but obviously it’s all been put on hold for the time being. But we adapted as much as possible, with delivery services, online cook schools and lots of brand collaborations.
Can you share any wisdom from the experience so far with others? Have you changed? Has your cooking changed?
Wisdom – time goes quickly, don’t waste it. Have an idea, follow it through, and try not to procrastinate. I am always changing and evolving as I try to always learn more about my craft, and especially plant-based cookery. My cooking did a complete 180 when I decided to go on my plant-based journey six years ago, and leave all that I have been taught in meat and fish cookery behind. That was a huge risk for me, but I believe I was meant to be doing this, it’s my higher purpose and one that I have many things to accomplish in.
Chef Kirk Haworth is Chef / Co-Founder of Plates London
Address: 93 Kingsland Rd, London, UK
Telephone: +44 (0) 7786 636432
Instagram: @kirk_haworth & @plates_london