Flash-grilled: Arnaud Delannay

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Flash-grilled with The Collective's executive head chef Arnaud Delannay

Related tags: Chef, Restaurant, London, Fine dining

Arnaud Delannay is executive head chef for US-based co-living group The Collective, which opened restaurant and lounge concept Mthr within its London Canary Wharf co-living space last September.

What was your first job?
Grape picking as a summer job during my school holidays.

What is your guiltiest food pleasure?  
Cheese.

What’s the best restaurant meal you’ve ever had?
Restaurant A. Wong in London.

What industry figure do you most admire, and why? 
Chris and Jeff Galvin, they brought me to London and I worked with both in the kitchen at the Bistrot de luxe for four years. Both great chefs, opened several great restaurants at Michelin star level, and still crafting day in day out in their kitchens. I wouldn't be who I am today if it weren't for them.

If you weren’t in kitchens, what would you do? 
No clue. I was meant to be in the kitchen!

What is your biggest regret?
None, luckily.

Pet hate in the kitchen?
Mobile phones.

What’s the oddest thing a customer has said to you?
Someone once told me they were allergic to oil.

What’s the dish you wish you’d thought of?
Coq au vin; it's personal favourite.

Describe your cooking style in three words
Simple, inspiring, and flavour-driven. 

Most overrated food?
Wagyu beef.

Restaurant dictator for a day – what would you ban?
Edible flowers.

What’s the worst review you’ve ever had?
Never really had one bad enough to remember, which is quite good I suppose.

If you could cook for anyone in the world who would you pick, and why?
Daniel Humm from Eleven Madison Park. I am a big fan of his culinary vision and what he has done in the industry.

What advice would you give someone starting out in the industry?
Be sure to know what you are getting into; without passion, strong determination and sacrifice, there is no point as it's definitely a lot of hard work.

Which single item of kitchen equipment could you not live without?
A good grill.

What do you cook at home on your days off?
All sorts really, but breakfast and homemade breads are popular.

What’s your earliest food memory? 
Huge Sunday barbecue lunch at my grandfather; the whole family had to be there every week.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Don't be afraid to make mistakes, just make sure to learn from them.

What’s the closest you’ve ever come to death?
Motorcycle accident when I was 17, almost lost my left leg. 

Where do you go when you want to let your hair down?
I live close to Epping Forest; nothing more relaxing than a walk through the forest with the family and dog. Might be an unusual answer for where I let my hair down, but it's true.

Tipple of choice?
Good ale, a negroni, or red wine.

What would you choose to eat for your last meal?
Tournedos Rossini with a tone of foie gras and truffle.

Related topics: People

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