Great British Menu chefs 2019: Luke Selby, London and South East heat

The Staff Canteen

Luke Selby is the head chef at Ollie Dabbous’ multi-story Hide Above restaurant at 85 Picadilly in London’s Green Park . 

It is fair to say that we can expect great things from Luke.

Throughout his short career, which saw him work alongside Gary Jones and Raymond Blanc at Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons aged 17 to 25, and for Clare Smyth and Matt Abé at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, Luke has collected the accolades: he was named Young Chef of the Year by the Craft Guild of Chefs before winning the National Chef of the Year last year, and won the Roux Scholarship in 2017. 

He joined Olivier Dabbous  as his sous chef until his eponymous restaurant closed in 2017, and followed him when Hide Above launched in April last year. 

In an interview with The Staff Canteen, Luke said he believes competitions are a driving force for chefs, forcing them to experience the type of pressure it takes to achieve great things. As well as wanting to win Great British Menu 2019, the chef wants to get at least two Michelin stars for Hide Above. 

The restaurant, which seats 180 people, employs 200 staff and counts 4,000 wines on its list serves either a set menu or a ten-course tasting menu, both with vegetarian alternatives.

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A new addition to go with our cheese trolley @hide_restaurant Red Onion filled with its own chutney #hideabove

A post shared by Luke Selby (@lucasselby1) on

Both of his younger brothers – Theo and Nathaniel – are also chefs. They worked with Luke at Le Manoir and work with him at Hide now.

So this year was themed around 50 years of British music. How did you find trying to adapt your food using music as inspiration?

I think the brief suited me very well.
I have a real connection with music. I play lot of instruments, my dad always wanted me to be a professional violinist, I played the violin for over 10 years.
I had an emotional connection to music and then it was different trying to connect that with a dish.

Is that something that you would normally do, basing your food om things like memories or a concept?

No I don't really start with the concept, I start with the quality of produce, so that was definitely a challenge.  It was a good learning curve to try and match my cooking style with a brief. 

There are a few famous judges on the panel this year. Who were you most excited to meet?

We had Mani Mounfield for our regional so it was really cool meeting him, he's from the Stone Roses and a rock legend. Andrew Ridgley from Wham was pretty cool too.. It was definitely amazing to meet them - It's very similar being in music, which is a very creative industry; trying to do your own thing and food is like that as well.

What was it like competing against Ben and Paul?

It was a pleasure working with them. I'd known all of them through the industry and heard of them,it was great to meet and cook with them. I really got along with them - top guys and really really talented chefs as well. Both of them have worked in high end fine dining, Ben at The Square and Noma and different places and Paul was eight years at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, so it is really tough competition. It was a really hard heat. 

What benefit do you see in taking part in competitions like this?

Well I've done a lot of competitions before, It was just a natural progression to take part in GBM, but it's a completely different ball game, where you're trying to adhere to a brief and also being filmed, it's an experience I'd not been subject to.

Would you do it again?

Yeah, I'd love to do it again. It was good. The kind of exposure it gives you is amazing and it's great for the industry.

Read Luke's recipe for steamed day-boat turbot, crushed nasturtium broth here, or click here to find out how to make his celeriac with chervil, angelica seed & ripe avocado. -

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The Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 20th March 2019

Great British Menu chefs 2019: Luke Selby, London and South East heat