Meet the chef: Sofian Msetfi of Ormer Mayfair

Posted On By Director

It should’ve been unsurprising that chef Sofian Msetfi would do great things with the art-deco restaurant, Ormer, lying beneath the Flemings Mayfair Hotel when he took over the reins in 2021. But earning the establishment four AA Rosettes – one of just a few eateries in the capital bestowed such an accolade – within a few months was a feat that many didn’t see coming, and it certainly cemented the value in having his name above the door. 

Having cut his culinary teeth at the Michelin-starred Longridge Restaurant, Tom Kerridge’s The Hand and Flowers (the only pub in the UK with two stars) and heading up the team at one of the most luxurious hotels in Ireland, Adare Manor, Msetfi’s award-winning skill set was prepped and ready to go when he joined the Flemings to embark on his first solo project. 

Taking over from Kerth Gumbs, Msetfi soon steered Ormer in the direction of elevated tasting menus – but don’t be fooled into thinking that means you’ll be short on choice. Taking dietary requirements seriously, Msetfi’s ever-changing and seasonally-sourced bill of fare is divided into the traditional menu and then one each for vegetarians, vegans and pescatarians. Comprising six to eight courses and featuring dishes from black treacle soda bread, roast Anjou pigeon and soy pickled turnip to fricassée of Scottish langoustine, saffron risotto, and caramelia and malt gateaux, dining at Ormer is all about putting the customer experience front and centre – and evidently, it’s paying off. 

Oozing 1930s-inspired opulence and glamour, the restaurant is known in certain circles as Mayfair’s best-kept secret. Accessed via a lift which descends into the historic hotel’s basement, expect tables adorning white tablecloths and an abundance of fresh flowers in a space furnished with wood-panelling, forest green seating and plenty of mirrors for that brightening effect. Msetfi takes us inside…

ormer mayfair

What’s your earliest food memory?

Eating Moroccan food with my family, usually a tagine or something similar. Everyone shares from the same large dish in the middle of the table and it’s a great experience.

When did you start your career as a chef?

I started cooking quite early, when I was 15. I left school and started working as a kitchen porter and from there I worked my way up the ranks. I have some fond memories of being young in the kitchen and learning from everyone and everything around me.

ormer mayfair

Caramelia and malt gateux

Which restaurants did you work in during the early years of your career?

I’m lucky to say I’ve worked with some brilliant chefs. I started with three years at Paul Heathcote’s The Longridge Restaurant in Lancashire and then went to Tom Kerridge’s two Michelin starred The Hand and Flowers in Marlow. Finally, I went to Midsummer House in Cambridge by Daniel Clifford, which is another two Michelin star restaurant. Before taking over at Ormer Mayfair, I was head chef at The Oak Room at Adare Manor in Ireland, which has one Michelin star.

What dining experience did you set out to achieve at Ormer Mayfair?

Ormer Mayfair is relaxed and refined. We source the best seasonal British produce to take guests on a unique journey, including some produce from our kitchen garden in Essex.

How would you describe your cooking style?

My cooking style is original and creative and only uses the best ingredients. I enjoy utilising classic cooking techniques, but also experimenting with unique flavour combinations in the kitchen for our tasting menus.

What’s your favourite dish on the menu?

One of our signature dishes on the tasting menus is the warm Iberico ham jelly, with parmesan, Bramley apple and nasturtium. It has been on our menu since we opened and hasn’t been taken off since!

What is your one other favourite London restaurant?

Claude Bosi at Bibendum. The food in my opinion is the best in London, completely original and very unique in its delivery. The room is also very iconic.

How do you spend your free time away from the restaurant?

I try to eat out as much as possible to experience London’s vibrant food scene and keep in touch with the ever-changing culinary landscape. I really enjoy exercising too, so I run and go to the gym whenever I get the chance.


Read more: The finest afternoon teas in London

The post Meet the chef: Sofian Msetfi of Ormer Mayfair appeared first on Luxury London.

Lascia un commento