Flash-grilled: Michelle Trusselle

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

 Michelle Trusselle executive chef at 30 Euston Square

Related tags: Michelle Trusselle, Chef, 30 Euston Square, Fine dining, London

The executive chef at 30 Euston Square on looking up to Simon Rogan, being dispassionate about asparagus, and her highly-tuned detective skills.

What was your first industry job?
I worked at our local gastropub The Queens Head in Crouch End, London. I was studying at Westminster Kingsway College at the time so balancing student life, college work and my job was pretty full on but I absolutely loved it. I discovered the buzz of doing a service here and how important it is to have a tight knit team. I have fond memories of that little place.

If you weren’t in kitchens, what would you do?
That’s a tough one. If it had to be completely away from the kitchen then I’d probably be a detective. I seem to pick up on little things that others usually miss, I love a mental challenge and I like to know the reasons behind why people do certain things.

What industry figure do you most admire, and why?
When it comes to culinary heroes, I really look up to Simon Rogan, who is renowned for his simple but elevated food which showcases the produce and tastes of the natural world. I actually have one of his cookbooks here at 30 Euston Square. I’m also a fan of Phil Howard, who is classically trained and known for his modern British food with big, punchy flavours. However, I admire any chef or industry leader who is out there and trying to make a difference for the better. I especially admire those that are consciously more supportive of mothers working, their staff having a better work life balance and their staff having better working conditions, too. Also I admire all those who are contribute to our industry with amazing food whether it be the street stall down the road or the destination restaurant in the middle of nowhere.

What's your pet hate in the kitchen?
Food labels written in messy handwriting!

What’s the oddest thing a customer has said to you?
The guests who are insistent about their allergy when ordering yet change their mind when they see their dining partner’s option is a little odd. I’ve learned to try and take it as a compliment even if I did go out of my way to prepare something special just for them.

Sum up your cooking style in a single sentence…
Exciting, flavoursome and not always what you’d expect.

What’s the worst review you’ve ever had?
It was from a customer who hadn’t dined with us and got a full refund despite cancelling after the notice period. I’m grateful though that the review wasn’t about our food, as I would have taken that personally. Chefs put so much effort and time into the dishes that they create so reading bad reviews about food can be pretty hard to take sometimes if not written it a well-constructed way.

What advice would you give someone starting out in the industry?
Be open minded, try to learn as much as possible from each place that you work in and try working at a Michelin starred establishment for the experience.

Which single item of kitchen equipment could you not live without?
My multi-purpose Victorinox serrated pastry knife! It’s useful for pretty much anything.

What would you choose to eat for your last meal?
It would have to be any kind of curry for me, with basmati rice.

À la carte or tasting menu?
Tasting menu hands down!

What's your favourite fast food joint?
Any KFC in the Caribbean. I don’t know if it’s the chicken that they use or the spices but it just tastes a thousand times better.

What's the most overrated food?
Asparagus.

You're restaurant dictator for a day – what would you ban?
Staff food eaten with a spoon.

Who would your dream dinner party guests be?
Leonardo DiCaprio, Massimo Bottura and J Dilla

What do you consider to be your signature dish?
It’s either the jerk chicken dish that I cooked on MasterChef​ or my curried crab cylinder with lemon verbena.

Related topics: Chef

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