Introducing our Head Chef Alexandru-lonel Sotir.
Alex has been working his way up at D&D London since 2016. He has previously been Head Chef at some of our other iconic venues like Quaglino’s and Paternoster Chop House. In February this year, Alex took the helm as Head Chef at Butlers Wharf Chop House.
We’ve asked Alex some questions to get to know him a little more. Keep reading to find out his favourite dish, cooking at home (or not so much) and his secrets to conceptualising a menu.
When did you want to become a Chef?
It all started when I first stepped foot into a kitchen 8 years ago . I never actually wanted to be a Chef, but once I saw this life I fell in love with it.
How and where did you train to become a Chef?
The funny thing is, I had no training and I have never been to cookery school. Instead, I’ve been learning and watching other Chefs to help me progress. I always asked the right questions and looked at what everyone else was doing. Reading, researching and working very hard.
What is your cooking style?
I don’t know if I have a certain cooking style, I like to cook modern food with a bit of a twist. I have a lot of Asian influences and inspired a lot by French cuisine. I think they all come together to form a modern British cooking style.
What can’t you live without in the kitchen?
This would definitely be a team – there’s no ‘I’ in team and I wouldn’t be where I am without them.
Name a Chef you admire.
Liam Smith-Laing – he was my first ever Head Chef and made me believe and trust myself. He was my mentor.
The second one is Orson Vergnaud – I worked for him for a year and he’s the Head Chef now at Petrus by Gordon Ramsey. He is one of the most organised chefs I have ever worked with and I have learnt so much from him.
How do you conceptualise menus?
We plan our menus by seasons, we always try to use seasonal produce and change our menu maybe three times a year. We try to use British grown produce, for example, Autumn is game season and in Spring we try to use radishes – we are always trying to be seasonal.
What would you say is your signature dish?
It would have to be my seabream ceviche – double cured seabream with garlic and orange ponzu and wasabi tobiko.
Favourite type of cuisine?
My favourite type of cuisine to eat is Asian – Japanese, Chinese and Korean. I’m a sushi and ceviche lover.
To cook – French cuisine
What’s your go to dish to cook at home?
I cook a lot when I’m at work, so when I’m at home I’m a simple man. Just throw me a piece of bread and I’m happy. I’m at home two days a week, and normally spend my time sleeping. Usually my wife does the cooking – I cook enough so will not do it at home.