Michael Hazlewood Dishing up Outstanding Food
New Zealand chef Michael Hazlewood’s new London venture served Evening Standard reviewer Fay Maschler some “eerily outstanding food” by “charming, wine-savvy staff”.
“‘Hazle’ as his friends and maybe even his wife know him is, as of last week, head chef at Antidote wine bar off Carnaby Street,” Maschler writes.
“With a busy ground floor, a sizeable party in the first room of the upstairs, the kitchen located in the basement and awareness that Hazle is short-staffed, we expect longueurs in service, but that doesn’t happen. Four options in each course – apart from dessert – and four of us eating together mean that we investigate exhaustively.
“To put the bonbon crunch of sweetcorn croquettes with the damp forest-floor woodsiness of girolles and underscore the combination with pungent black garlic is a wild, witty, totally successful notion. Ducks’ hearts, anchovy, mint and broad beans; just think about the mix of those textures, flavours, origins and personalities. Again, the organisation is enlightened. To all those people who have over the years tediously informed you that tomatoes are not a vegetable but a fruit, you can now say: ‘I know. That is why they go so well with strawberries’. And they do. Dried olives and Westcombe ricotta here urge them on.
“Year-old Ryeland Lamb (that’s almost hogget) and also 75-day aged beef rump are cooked slowly, assiduously to render them pink slices of almost tear-jerking tenderness.
“Hazle’s latest recruiting tweet asks for a sous chef and a chef de partie stipulating as (very fair) conditions four doubles, three days off. Anyone who wants to learn from the best – and I dare say Hazle is also unusually amiable when not delirious with tiredness – apply now.”
Hazlewood previously worked with fellow New Zealander Ben Shewry at Attica in Melbourne and, more recently, at Soif and The Green Man & French Horn in London.
Original article by Fay Maschler, Evening Standard, August 19, 2015.
Photo by Matt Writtle.