The Quarterly caught up with Éric Chavot in the kitchen of Brasserie Chavot, deep under the Westbury Hotel in Mayfair, as he was preparing for yet another busy lunch service. Considering it was a busy time for the kitchen, Chavot welcomed us with as much enthusiasm and passion as could be crammed into this compact yet highly organised kitchen.
This has been Chavot’s new home for the past five months and the reviews he has received since opening have been nothing short of top draw. Within the trade press and also the daily review columns, Chavot’s dishes have been reviewed, talked about and subsequently praised.
Without wanting to rewrite words that have already been printed, we turned our attention to what we know best - the canvas in which Chavot uses to present his much acclaimed dishes.
What was the thought process behind what you wanted to achieve from the dining experience at Brasserie Chavot?
“Right from the beginning I knew that I wanted a style that was very laidback. When I started planning the restaurant, it was like having a trip down memory lane. I recalled dining with my grandparents and the enamel dishes we used to use, along with the cast iron cocottes.”
Aside from your childhood, what other influences would you say have played a part in selecting the right experience?
“I like having fun and it is important that this comes across in everything I do. I think I am at a stage where I can let that show now, in my cooking and also the environment and décor of the ,restaurant. The days of having to remain very formal are behind me now!”
Looking around at the tables we can see you have combined a mixture of tableware items - from glass and porcelain to cast iron and enamel. Can you explain what factors go through your mind when it comes to selecting tableware?
“As I mentioned previously it’s all about having fun and of course, going back to my childhood. Having said this, although I adore traditional French styles, I am very much an admirer of refined British design. It is the reason I selected the Studio William cutlery for the restaurant, some of their pieces are such a work of art - they are absolutely stunning.”
Are there any other items in particular you have taken pleasure in combining with your dishes?
“I love using the Revol range of tableware as it mixes classic French styles with a more modern touch, which is the exact feel I wanted for the restaurant. Simple things like bright coloured lids in green, yellow and red blend with the stunning mosaic floor we have here in the restaurant. We have used the Revolution collection of cocottes on the table here at Brasserie Chavot and they are just the perfect match for us.”
You have visited us at the CCS showroom in Baker Street a number of times now, especially leading up to the opening earlier in the year. How did you find the experience?
“Well what can I say? I love the showroom! Everything I wanted was under one roof. The ability to combine tableware there and then to see what works was so convenient, it was like a sweet shop!”
The Quarterly Team would like to thank Éric Chavot for his time, and to also congratulate Brasserie Chavot for a very successful first five months, with no doubt many more to come. For more information, visit www.brasseriechavot.com