Meet the chef: Matt Fletcher of the Great Central Pub at The Landmark London

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When you think of the in-house restaurant of a luxury hotel, you probably don’t picture a pub. A Michelin star restaurant? Yes. A dining room headed by a critically-acclaimed chef? Of course. But a British gastropub? Perhaps not. 

On a mission to redefine gastropub standards, The Landmark opened the Great Central Pub by Matt Fletcher late last year to offer a “relaxed venue to complete the dining experience”. It’s a world away from the hotel’s other culinary offerings, which include modern European dining at the Winter Garden Restaurant and the sophisticated High Palms afternoon tea. But it works. 

Headed by celebrated international chef Matt Fletcher, who was first in the Landmark’s kitchens from 2009-2011 as senior sous chef, this new concept is a first for the five-star Grand Dame hotel in Marylebone — and one that is proving to be rather popular with Londoners and tourists alike. On the menu, you’ll find thoroughly British pub classics, including scotch egg with piccalilli, steak and ale pie, and a ‘posh’ fish finger butty, as well as an array of craft beers from local London breweries. It is the go-to destination for a hearty meal and, Fletcher plans, for live music and sports. In short, it’s exactly what a Great British pub should be. 

Drawing on his wealth of experience from across the globe, Fletcher planned the pub to resemble “a welcoming home away from home” inspired by Great British hospitality — something he values even more after a cheffing stint in Australia. Now back in the capital, Fletcher shares his vision for the Great Central Pub and how his career led him here. 

What inspired you to be a chef?

I grew up in Suffolk, just outside the brewery town of Southwold. My whole family worked in hospitality, specifically hotels and restaurants, so I always had a keen interest.

I was fortunate enough to travel a lot around the world when I was younger — Asia, Europe, Australia and America, among many other destinations. On these trips, I experienced so many wonderful places and cuisines. My mother is a fantastic cook, and I really loved joining in and learning new tricks and skills.

At 18, I apprenticed under MCGB (Master Chefs of Great Britain) Chris Coubrough (he now has his own hotels in North Norfolk) and worked in a small restaurant in Walberswick, Suffolk after school and at weekends. London was the next stop, working at The Savoy, InterContinental London St James and my first role at The Landmark London, where I worked up from Senior Sous Chef to Executive Sous Chef.

It was always my dream to have limitless freedom to design and cook anything in any way, which I now do upon opening returning to The Landmark London to open my own namesake pub.

matt fletcher

What was the highlight of your time working abroad?

I’ve [been] fortunate enough to have worked across a wide range of incredible restaurants all over the world. A particular highlight for me was Australia. Australian cuisine is incredible, there’s such a huge range of local and national ingredients and talent from all over the world.

I worked with celebrity chef Bill Grainger to open Bills in Bondi Beach. I also worked for the Naked Duck Group across multiple restaurants in Sydney, including The Botanic Garden Restaurant, Calyx & Busby’s Bar and Indigo Double Bay — the latter was particularly busy, we were serving upwards of 1,400 covers per day.

How are you finding life back in London?

I worked in London early in my career and, to be honest, it has been tricky to get back into! I now have a family, so my life has changed quite radically. I love the pace of the city and how quickly it changes. There are constantly new places to explore and restaurants to try. My favourite part is still the markets and how traditional they are.

What inspired you to launch the Great Central Pub?

I have worked in many styles of restaurants, hotels and events businesses, but never a pub. The chance to return to work at The Landmark London and start something new was so appealing to me. My menu centres around my belief that comfort food should be simple, full of flavour, fast to cook and easy to enjoy.

The Landmark London has so much style and elegance. The only thing it was missing was a relaxed venue to complete the dining experience. We want to appeal to everybody.

What’s your favourite dish on the menu?

My favourite dish is the fish and chips — it’s made exactly as it was when I was a child in Southwold. The fish is fresh and locally sourced and muddy potatoes are washed, cut and cooked in a three-step process. I also have a secret recipe for my tartare sauce which I’ll never share. You’ll just need to come and try it for yourself…

What is your favourite London restaurant?

I love a very small Italian restaurant in Pimlico called O’Sole Mio. I have been going there with my great uncle since I was 15. It serves good, hearty Italian cuisine, is family-run and has a huge board of specials, alongside incredible seafood.


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