Patricia Roig, Head Chef, LIMA Floral

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 6th September 2018

IN ASSOCIATION WITH

Patricia Roig is head chef at LIMA Floral, she took on the role in 2018 after working as senior sous chef at Newman Street Tavern in Fitzrovia, under head chef, Peter Wheeden.

Originally from Seville, Patricia studied at the University of Seville – during her studies she worked at Miranda Suizo Hotel in Madrid and Terraza Carmona Restaurant in Almeria.

Patricia’s first role in a professional kitchen was in 2003, where she was appointed senior chef de partie at renowned Michelin-starred restaurant Lillas Pastia in Huesca, North of Spain. She moved to London in 2012. 

The Staff Canteen caught up with Patricia to talk about her vision for LIMA floral, learning to cook Peruvian cuisine and her experience as a woman in professional kitchens.

Beef Loin Lima floral
Beef Loin

Why did you want to be a chef?

No one from my family was in the industry but from being young I was cooking at home. When I was 17 I decided I wanted to study to be a chef, I think it’s important to study and work in a professional kitchen. In the classroom you learn not only to cook but how to behave in the kitchen and how to build a team.

Why did you decide to move to London and how do the kitchens compare to Seville?

My husband is a chef and we knew we wanted to move but we were not sure where. In London there are so many restaurants to choose from so we decided this was the best place to go to. At the beginning the kitchens were very different, the hours were not the same, but I really like it now and I’m happy here.

You worked at Newman Street Tavern in Fitzrovia, under head chef, Peter Wheeden and you said he changed your view on food, why?

He’s the most skilful chef I’ve ever worked with, he’s very knowledgeable and he really loves what he does. He taught me a lot about British produce and using local suppliers – that’s what I wanted and that’s why I wanted to work in a British restaurant.

What was your knowledge of Peruvian cuisine before you joined LIMA floral?

It was just as a customer, I had never cooked the style of food before. I’ve learned a lot in my time here, but I of course have so much more to learn. 

Info bar

Rising stars 

Juan Fernandez, Lu in Jerez de la Frontera
David Oliva, Back tapas in Marbella

Both Juan and David worked for a long time as Head Chef’s for the very acclaimed chefs Angel Leon and Dani Garcia (respectively) in Spain.

They opened have each now opened their own places and are doing really well - they are both brilliant chefs so watch this space! 

Guilty pleasures 

Pedro Ximenez vinegar
Chicory
Butter
Mash potato
Fabada

Your top 5 restaurants

Bras, France
Central, Peru
El Celler de can Roca, Spain
Eleven Madison Park, USA
Dani Garcia Restaurant, Spain

Your favourite cookbook(s)

Modernist Cuisine, Maxime Bilet and Nathan Myhrvold
The Bread Baker's Apprentice, Peter Reinhart
 Bras, Michel Bras
Sweetology, Josep Maria Rodriguez

You are cooking at LIMA Floral so your dishes are influenced by that, but as a chef what is your style?

I’m influenced by everywhere I have been, obviously the restaurant is Peruvian, and we have to do Peruvian dishes, but I think for me it’s most important to respect the produce. I’m Spanish so it’s easier to cook in that style, Peruvian is different, but it has some similarities in terms of flavours which I like.

LIMA Floral interior (2) low res
LIMA Floral

You spent time at Central in Peru when you took over at LIMA Floral, how was that?

They are very different restaurants, Central is a big restaurant with a lot of staff and they are all very specialised in each area of the restaurant or the kitchen. They also have produce there which we don’t have in London. But it was important for me to go and experience the markets or eat in the restaurants – it makes it a lot easier for me when it comes to creating new dishes for the menu.

Are you in control of menu creation?

This menu I did in Peru with Virgilio Martinez but I’m always open for the team to say if they want to do a special. The team are so important, they are a great group of people who like working together. Having a team of nice people is the best way, if they don’t have a lot of knowledge I can teach that and when I look for new chefs I’m not looking for anyone who thinks they know everything, because no one does! 

What are your goals for yourself and the business?

We want to be an example for Peruvian food in London, sometimes people don’t understand the flavours, but my goal is that we are offering authentic Peruvian dishes.

Cobia Chalaca lima floral
Cobia Chalaca

What have been the highs and lows of your time as head chef so far?

The hardest part is you need to make everything work! You need to deal with staff, customers and suppliers – you have to make everyone happy. It’s tough to make sure everyone is working together and most important to me is that you need to be fair. The best part of being head chef is that you have full control, you can develop yourself and your team and you have the opportunity to push the dishes and the restaurant forward. If I want to spend the afternoon developing a dish….I can.

Kitchens are still very male environments, what is it like being a female chef?

I’m the only female chef in my kitchen and people still come to the restaurant who don’t know who the head chef is, and they automatically look for the biggest guy in there, they don’t look to me. I’m very happy with the men in my team but sometimes you need a woman too! It’s the same in Spain, in fact I think there are more female head chefs in the UK than in Spain because we are still expected to have more traditional roles. Most female chefs are pastry chefs. 

More images from LIMA Floral:

Charred Avocado Ceviche Lima floral
Charred Avocado Ceviche

Hot Ceviche lima floral low res
Hot Ceviche

Octopus & Tomatoes lima floral low res
Octopus & Tomatoes

Salmon Crudo lima floral low res
Salmon Crudo

 

 

 

 

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 6th September 2018

Patricia Roig, Head Chef, LIMA Floral

IN ASSOCIATION WITH