Four Magazine
Sitting Down with Dan Doherty
Jun 14, 2017

Executive chef Doherty of Duck & Waffle in London talks about his culinary experiences and inspirations...

What are your earliest memories of being interested in food?

I’d say making shortbread as a kid. It was the one thing my mum couldn’t say no to me making as we always had flour, butter and sugar in the kitchen. It was great fun to get your hands dirty and eating loads while it was still warm was pretty special.

 

What, or who, would you say has inspired your cooking the most?

I guess travelling and all the people that have cooked for me along the way. From restaurant chefs to local family style food all over the world. I’m constantly being inspired by these things. 

 

Describe your culinary style…

This is a tough one. I love cooking really traditional food, but also love playing around and reinventing things too. 

 

What would you say is the main focus/concept for your menu at Duck & Waffle?

At Duck & Waffle Local it’s all about duck. We use the whole bird and are trying to be creative with how we come up with the dishes. Think duck merguez sasuages or duck schnitzel…

 

What do you think makes a restaurant or menu so successful? 

It all boils down to serving well cooked food with honest hospitality. If you don’t have either of those you will really struggle. 

 

What are your most indispensable ingredients?

It would have to be butter and salt for me. I’d be lost without them! Oh, and duck…

 

Do you think it’s important to championing local products and supplier? and if so, why?

Massively. Use them or lose them. Why get something from miles away when we have it on our doorstep? It’s about minimalizing food miles and using the passionate farmers and growers we have. 

 

What kind of experience do you aim to give guests when you cook for them?

I just want to make them feel good. Watching someone eat something and enjoy it is a wonderful feeling. To feed is to nourish and doing it well is so important to me.

 

What trends or changes in fine dining have you witnessed over recent years?

It’s all become much less formal, and I think more accessible too. There will always be really expensive high-end restaurants but its great to see some amazing places being affordable too. To see British food being taken seriously and seeing people become more passionate about it is refreshing too.

 

What's next for you/What projects do you have lined up?

For now I’m concentrating on pushing the restaurants as much as possible. I’m also working on my first solo restaurant too, Sprout. 

 

What is your guilty pleasure?

I have many! I love crisps and cheap chocolate a little too much I think…

 

What restaurant is currently at the top of your list to dine at?

I’m really keen to try Phil Howards Elystan street, I’ve heard really good things. 

 

What are you up to at the moment?

There is lots going on with Duck & Waffle Local that has just opened and working on my new restaurant Sprout.  We are looking forward to taking Duck & Waffle Local to Taste of London next week.

 

Dan Doherty will be with his restaurant Duck & Waffle Local at this year’s Taste of London, 14-18 June in Regents Park.  For more information and to buy tickets, please visit tasteoflondon.co.uk 

Executive chef Doherty of Duck & Waffle in London talks about his culinary experiences and inspirations...

What are your earliest memories of being interested in food?

I’d say making shortbread as a kid. It was the one thing my mum couldn’t say no to me making as we always had flour, butter and sugar in the kitchen. It was great fun to get your hands dirty and eating loads while it was still warm was pretty special.

 

What, or who, would you say has inspired your cooking the most?

I guess travelling and all the people that have cooked for me along the way. From restaurant chefs to local family style food all over the world. I’m constantly being inspired by these things. 

 

Describe your culinary style…

This is a tough one. I love cooking really traditional food, but also love playing around and reinventing things too. 

 

What would you say is the main focus/concept for your menu at Duck & Waffle?

At Duck & Waffle Local it’s all about duck. We use the whole bird and are trying to be creative with how we come up with the dishes. Think duck merguez sasuages or duck schnitzel…

 

What do you think makes a restaurant or menu so successful? 

It all boils down to serving well cooked food with honest hospitality. If you don’t have either of those you will really struggle. 

 

What are your most indispensable ingredients?

It would have to be butter and salt for me. I’d be lost without them! Oh, and duck…

 

Do you think it’s important to championing local products and supplier? and if so, why?

Massively. Use them or lose them. Why get something from miles away when we have it on our doorstep? It’s about minimalizing food miles and using the passionate farmers and growers we have. 

 

What kind of experience do you aim to give guests when you cook for them?

I just want to make them feel good. Watching someone eat something and enjoy it is a wonderful feeling. To feed is to nourish and doing it well is so important to me.

 

What trends or changes in fine dining have you witnessed over recent years?

It’s all become much less formal, and I think more accessible too. There will always be really expensive high-end restaurants but its great to see some amazing places being affordable too. To see British food being taken seriously and seeing people become more passionate about it is refreshing too.

 

What's next for you/What projects do you have lined up?

For now I’m concentrating on pushing the restaurants as much as possible. I’m also working on my first solo restaurant too, Sprout. 

 

What is your guilty pleasure?

I have many! I love crisps and cheap chocolate a little too much I think…

 

What restaurant is currently at the top of your list to dine at?

I’m really keen to try Phil Howards Elystan street, I’ve heard really good things. 

 

What are you up to at the moment?

There is lots going on with Duck & Waffle Local that has just opened and working on my new restaurant Sprout.  We are looking forward to taking Duck & Waffle Local to Taste of London next week.

 

Dan Doherty will be with his restaurant Duck & Waffle Local at this year’s Taste of London, 14-18 June in Regents Park.  For more information and to buy tickets, please visit tasteoflondon.co.uk