Executive Chef Paul Bates
I fell in love with food as a lad helping out at my granny and grandad's B&B. Simple food cooked well. That was their mantra and it's the same attitude I have maintained throughout my career.
Opening OXBO Bankside has given me the opportunity to create the restaurant of my dreams, exploring new ways of thinking about traditional British dishes. It was my travels to Australia and Singapore that inspired me to start experimenting with different tastes. I love contrasting authentic ingredients with exotic flavours that give old English favourites that unexpected twist.
I've worked in London for many years now, predominately in Mayfair and Park Lane, so moving South of the river to Bankside has been extremely exciting for me.
Over the last five years, SE1 has seen an influx of big name chefs come into the area including Gordon Ramsay's Union Street Café, Mark Hix's Hixter and Rainer Becker's Oblix at The Shard. They've realised that Bankside is the new foodie hub of London and not having a restaurant in the area would be a big mistake. So it's nice to know I'm in good company.
It's really important for me to establish a strong relationship with my suppliers and using the freshest of ingredients is my top priority. I'm confident I've found the best rare breed farmers and specialist producers in the UK, and fishermen out in the English Channel phone me as soon as they haul their nets on board. That's an example of how fresh our produce is. You'll also find me down Borough Market every so often sourcing some of my favourite herbs and spices from London's oldest food market. Now that is a luxury for any passionate chef.
I love our open kitchen tucked away at the back of the restaurant. Guests often come and talk to us about our dishes and the ingredients we use. It stimulates conversations about the joys of food which feeds the team's creative curiosity.
If you decide to visit us at OXBO Bankside, please swing by the open kitchen for a quick chat. We always love to hear what our guests think about the food.