2 Michelin Star Chefs: James Knappett, chef patron, Kitchen Table

The  Staff Canteen

James Knappett is the chef-patron of two Michelin-starred Kitchen Table In London.

Kitchen Table is a small restaurant on Charlotte's Street in Fitzrovia, where guests are invited to take part in an intimate chef’s table experience with menus changed daily to reflect the best produce available.

Kitchen Table

70 Charlotte Street, London, W1T 4QG

Telephone: +44 (0) 20 7637 7770

E-mail: [email protected]

Website: http://kitchentablelondon.co.uk

Head chef: James Knappett

Restaurant manager and head sommelier: Sandia Chang

Opening hours: Dinner 6pm to 11pm; Closed Sunday to Tuesday

Instagram:

@kitchentable1 

@jknappett

Biography

Cambridgeshire-born James Knappett has worked in some of the industry’s most highly-regarded kitchens for a slew of Michelin-starred chefs.

These include Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant at Royal Hospital Road; Rick Stein's eponymous restaurant in Padstow and Thomas Keller's New York restaurant, Per Se, where James met his wife and business partner Sandia Chang.

James also spent a year working at at René Redzepi’s Noma in Copenhagen; he did a short stint at The Ledbury with chef Brett Graham and another with Marcus Wareing at the Berkeley.

On the influence the chefs he has worked for have had on him, his food style and career, James told food critic William Sitwell: "I'm not one of these chefs who will sit here and be like, 'every single thing I think of is mine, it's all my success, these guys have done nothing for me' - no chance.

"Elements and learning from every single restaurant I've worked at are an inspiration to how I think about and cook food now.

"I've developed my own cuisine now, my own flavour profile, my own way of thinking about food, but that has all been driven and moulded by every single one of the great chefs that I've worked for."

Kitchen Table

JKS Restaurants (Also behind Lyle's, Flor, Gymkhana, Bao and Sabor, to name a few) offered to back Kitchen Table and Bubbledogs - so both were launched under the same roof in October 2012.

Bubbledogs, a concept thought-up by acclaimed sommelier Sandia Chang, paired gourmet hotdogs with carefully selected grower Champagnes, and enjoyed eight years of success.

However, in 2021, a year into the Covid-19 pandemic and faced with ongoing uncertainty in the hospitality industry, the couple decided to close Bubbledogs at the Fitzrovia site and to turn it into an extension of Kitchen Table.

What the guides say...

Michelin

 

AA Restaurant Guide

 

The space now serves as a cocktail bar and reception area, maintaining a strong focus on grower Champagnes, of which Sandia's selection has only become more exclusive over the years.

While the layout of the dining area is unchanged, it has undergone an aesthetic transformation: the seating has been reupholstered, the white tiled walls replaced with walnut panelling and the metal counters with oak.

In an interview with The Staff Canteen, James explained that he didn't wish for his restaurant to serve 50-70 people, like many other high-level kitchens do.

"I’ve done that; I’ve worked in that; I don’t want to run a restaurant like that; I like doing things slightly different and I’m just having fun now and enjoying it; so yeah, Kitchen Table is Kitchen Table on purpose and we don’t want it to be anything bigger."

Kitchen Table was awarded a Michelin star in the 2015 guide, followed by a second in the Michelin Guide UK 2019.

Food style

Every evening, James Knappett and his team prepare an extensive tasting menu (up to 20-odd courses, depending on the day) that showcases the best produce available on the day.

James’ food focuses on British ingredients and flavours, as the chef prides himself on using the best locally-sourced, often foraged ingredients.

Michelin singles out the following three dishes tested by its inspectors as worth mentioning: crispy chicken skin, rosemary infused mascarpone and bacon jam; grilled Cornish lobster with roast lobster sauce, marinated beetroot, orange and tarragon and poached rhubarb, milk ice cream and burnt pepper meringue.

Videos of James Knappett: 

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 20th August 2021

2 Michelin Star Chefs: James Knappett, chef patron, Kitchen Table