‘restaurant cookbooks like this help encourage young people to get into cooking’

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 13th November 2019

The Quality Chop House is an iconic part of Britain’s culinary history: it has been satiating appetites for 150 years.

The Farringdon caff first opened in the late 1800s; it was taken over by the former head chef of Le Caprice, Charles Fontaine, in 1989 and finally, in 2012, The Quality Chop House was bestowed upon William Lander – the son of FT critic Nicholas Lander.

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In 2017, he was joined by Daniel Morgenthau and executive chef Shaun Searley – with whom he had founded Portland in 2015 and Clipstone the following year.

Dan's favourite recipe:
pastrami-cured salmon

With its modern take on timeless British classics, the restaurant (as well as its adjacent butcher’s, pie shop and wine bar) won over critics and customers alike. To celebrate its successes (as well as its one and a half century anniversary), a cookbook only seemed fitting.

Daniel explained: “There's never not been a restaurant at 94 Farringdon Road, so to document that history, taking beautiful photos and celebrating not just the food that gets cooked here now but the stories that make this place special is something that we wanted to do."

Conceding that some of the recipes included in the book – such as the Quality Chop Shop’s sausage roll, or the fish and chips with mushy peas and tartare sauce served as staff tea – might not prove a challenge to seasoned chefs, they hope that their classic recipes might still appeal.

“Some of the recipes are obvious but others are quite complex and hopefully chefs are going to blast through to the pages they want to see,” Daniel said.  

As well as having a historical and a practical dimension, The Quality Chop House book is a testament to the relationships the team has with its suppliers, which Shaun hopes paints the restaurant industry in a bright light.

Will's favourite recipe:
Onglet steak salad

“We are very fortunate to live in a country that has incredible produce; from its game, beef, pork and lamb,  it's abundant with premium ingredients - some extravagant and some not so extravagant but accessible and delicious all the same.”

“I think trying to encourage young people to get into cooking is really important and bringing out restaurant cookbooks like this helps, because it just says that there's a restaurant which has been here for seven years in a space which has been here 150 and is continuing to drive and push and try to create and provide delicious food for people without it being a concept restaurant.”

“It's not a flash in the pan, so to speak. We're here to stay for as long as the lease will allow us so, I'd say to a young chef: get into the industry because it's incredible.”

THE QUALITY CHOP HOUSE: Modern Recipes and Stories from a London Classic by William Lander, Daniel Morgenthau & Shaun Searley is available at Quadrille for £30. Photography: Andrew Montgomery


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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 13th November 2019

‘restaurant cookbooks like this help encourage young people to get into cooking’