Gilly (Bunny) is a catering extraordinaire. Having trained at The Dorchester as the only female chef in the Brigade, her career has since taken her to become the Head Chef at Asprey and on to Guards Polo Club, Bulgari and De Beers. As a private chef she has travelled the world from St Tropez to Telluride in Colorado, however her favourite city will always be London. Luxury Topping asked Gilly to share her favourite places in the Captial.
One of my favourite things is to go shopping for new and exciting ingredients. I love searching the markets for seasonal produce. Ethically grown, organic and traceability are paramount when choosing produce; I always say if it is grown and harvested with care, then cooked with love, it will taste delicious.
When I trained at The Dorchester I remember having to prep 100kg of onions, celeriac and carrots for a sauce. Chef reprimanded me half way through for cutting the carrots with aggression… I had been at it for 2 hours and the pile was still high! I was told to cut each vegetable carefully and with respect, as it was important to treat the vegetables with the same care as when they were produced. An important lesson and one that I heed 25 years later.
My favourite butcher for game and good quality well reared meat is Jago’s in Elystan Street Chelsea, Mr Jago and the family have been there since 1972. They offer a plucking service for game that you have shot and award winning beef. Mr Jago, (always daper in his collar and tie) always has a smile and a good tip. Their old fashioned service and prompt delivery is most welcome.
If you are an early riser, I recommend a trip to New Covent Garden Fruit and Vegetable market. My supplier Vincenzo is the choice for most of the top chefs and restaurants in London. He sources directly from Italy and has the freshest vegetables and widest selection in town. Tomatoes that actually taste like tomatoes, fabulous olives and great salad leaves. He also has a wonderful line of prawns from the clean waters of Sicily.Then after that, I pop over to the Flower Market to see Sophie at Sophie Hanna Flowers. In the business for over 30 years, Sophie has decorated the best tables in restaurants and corporate offices in London with amazing and creative designs. If you are looking for inspiration, give Sophie a call.
This morning I baked some saffron and walnut biscotti for Princesse d’Isenbourg using their finest saffron. It’s a sample for one of the airlines they supply caviar for. Based in Holland Park, the quality and provenance of their caviar is second to none and they also have the best terrine de Foie Gras in London. I love going to the caviar tastings there. Gunter and Pari have created a wonderful ambiance in their production site, sitting sipping their champagne (which complements with the caviar) and listening to their stories is a perfect way to while away the afternoon. Pari is a fountain of information when it comes to caviar and I come away more informed with every visit! A great place for a birthday party, Princesse d’Isenbourg hold caviar tasting parties for up to 10 people. Intimate and luxurious, guests taste five types of caviar, wild smoked sturgeon, salmon Tolstoy, Foie Gras and also a few surprises …what a treat!
Jago’s of Chelsea – 9 Elystan Street, Chelsea, London, SW3 3NT
Sophie Hanna Flowers – Arch 48, New Covent Garden Market, London SW8 5PP
Vincenzo Ltd – D 34 – 35 New Covent Garden Market, Nine Elms Lane, London SW8 5LL
Princesse d’Issenbourg – 2 Bard Road, Holland Park, London, W10 6TP