TRIVET – Jonny Blake

Batu Akyol: Can you tell us about your childhood and how it influenced your journey into the culinary world?

Jonny Blake: I grew up in Burlington, Ontario, in Canada, which is about 45 minutes west of Toronto, around the Lake Ontario. Yeah. I didn’t really, I can’t say my childhood really formed too much of what I do now. My parents are both from Croydon, South London. Okay. And my, my mother. Coming from there, learning to, trying to cook different things in more North American, let’s say meals.

Jonny Blake: She did her best, good cook, but I don’t have that kind of romantic story of… What do you remember from your childhood? Of cooking with her or anything like that. No, about the eating, for example,

Batu Akyol: what was your, the best meal of your mom?

Jonny Blake: I don’t know, the one I remember the most was like, this, like in terms of regular meals, kind of thing, would be like, this like pork chops, but like super thin, yeah, and, under pan, fried, yeah, but no, they were coated, they’d be coated in this bread spice mix, which I think.

Jonny Blake: I don’t know if it still exists, but it was, I think it was like, It should be, actually. There was a brand name called Shake and Bake, or something like that. Shake and Bake. Where you put the meat, it came with the mix, came in a bag, and you put it in there, shook it around, and then put it on a baking tray.

Jonny Blake: That, that one sticks out. A lot of, Yeah, that’s it. I remember they would make, she would make this shrimp curry. So an English curry kind of thing, which we couldn’t stand like me and my sister. But it was, she would make, that was the one thing I think she would make for just for them.

Jonny Blake: Everything else we always ate together, but that I remember, but I just remember the whole thing just being really like, foreign to me. And I’d be like I wish I tried it then, but I didn’t,

Batu Akyol: do you think in your, let’s say, the basic, in your base, let’s say, on your base, you feel like more the British person? About the tasting the food or more Canadian yourself?

Jonny Blake: That’s tricky. I don’t know. Because,

Batu Akyol: What’s the difference by the way?

Jonny Blake: Yeah, I don’t think… I think, what I would say is I think probably more Canadian. Because, I don’t think, I don’t really remember my mother cooking like a lot of British food, whatever that is.

Jonny Blake: Apart from that curry.

Batu Akyol: What is British food for you? Yeah, exactly. That’s another question, Mark.

Jonny Blake: It’s interesting, because I think, obviously, Because you said curry, right? Yeah, which is, right? Different types of it are but it’s interesting, because obviously, British food culture it’s a lot, goes back a lot further, a lot more history to it than, let’s say Canadian, canada is a very young country, relatively. Relatively,

Jonny Blake: yeah. And…

Jonny Blake: But having lots of different

Batu Akyol: immigrants and refugees from all over the world. Yeah,

Batu Akyol: I don’t know… But not like England, I think, right? Not like UK. UK is a much more core place, rather than the Canadian location. Yeah. And then, so all the different ingredients and other stuff, it’s becoming much more…

Batu Akyol: Then Canada to UK ports and cities, I think.

Jonny Blake: Yeah, definitely.

Jonny Blake: It’s got that history for sure. There’s Canada, I think, much I don’t know many people that, whose grandparents are Canadian, if that makes sense. It’s this, it only goes back so far, right? . And so very, Yeah, like immigrant population.

Jonny Blake: So that’s true.

Batu Akyol: Yeah, so I can tell the same thing for the Anatolia actually So the everyone says from there, but they don’t belong to that location actually, so like my father from Crete and my mom’s like from the Bosnia Herzegovina, but Yeah, we call ourselves like Turks yeah So different.

Batu Akyol: So the what the role did food and cooking play in your upbringing, do you think?

Jonny Blake: Not a lot. I feel like I just, more than anything, I just ate it. And I wasn’t ever that interested, if that makes sense. I think it until I really had to, until I was living on my own and had to cook for myself, and start figuring stuff out, I never really paid much attention.

Jonny Blake: I didn’t,

Batu Akyol: What was the first motivation about cooking by yourself? Instead after getting hungry? What was the first reason for cooking? For example, impressing a girl? Or just trying some different tastes? What was the first the reason of cooking for yourself?

Jonny Blake: I think it was more just being interested in different things.

Jonny Blake: And trying to, as I would like actually living on my own and just thinking, you had to think more about cooking because you’re not, there’s no one else you’re not, don’t have a roommate or anything. You’re just you’re not talking about it with anyone. You’re just, okay, what am I doing tonight?

Jonny Blake: That’s what I’m going to do. And a couple of recipes and Start making them over and over again realizing the little changes. Oh if I do it this way this time It’ll be that little bit. I liked will be even more present let’s say Starting to realize things like that

Batu Akyol: Do you like to play the form of the ingredients fermenting or that kind of stuff, do you think, from the beginning, or?


Jonny Blake: More now, I would say I think early on it was more about just exploring new ingredients and more cooking techniques, learning that, rather than getting into Whatever fermenting, pickling, things like that, yeah. Although, I do remember my dad and doing pickled onions with him. I do remember that. Little baby little ones, little pearl

Jonny Blake: onions. That’d be the only kind of pickling I remember really doing.

Batu Akyol: Can you recall your earliest memory of feeling at home in the kitchen and how did that shape your passion for cooking for example?

Batu Akyol: Do you remember the any the first clue or not? Let’s say not the first moment, but What is your first Flashback about this.

Jonny Blake: I think a bit like feeling comfortable in a kitchen. Yeah, I think I Started Around this similar time, within the same year or so I started there was nearby, close to where I lived.

Jonny Blake: At this point, I was living in Montreal in Quebec. And there was a, like a Meals on Wheels kitchen. Yeah. And which was around the corner from my house. I would just look in the window, see what they were doing.

Batu Akyol: It’s just they are helping for the for the homeless people.

Jonny Blake: No, more people that can’t get out of their house.

Jonny Blake: So you’re making meals for older people that just come out of hospital maybe. And so we would be, they were making meals, packing them and delivering them. And this was this whole project.

Batu Akyol: You were cooking quite big amounts

Batu Akyol: of meals, I think.

Jonny Blake: Yeah probably like a hundred at that time.

Jonny Blake: Maybe a little more. Yeah. But yeah. So I started volunteering there and originally delivering. But then very quickly, I I was more in the kitchen. And, but you did both anyway. You cook and deliver. But yeah, really that, I remember really feeling quite comfortable doing that. And even though I didn’t really feel like I knew what I was doing I felt I don’t know.

Jonny Blake: So I guess more, that’s more professional kitchen than home kitchen maybe. But but yeah, I think just things that kind of led up to that. Cooking more and more at home and then that,

Batu Akyol: so starting with that, so the could you give us a chronological overview of your professional kitchen journey?

Batu Akyol: So shall we set that, say that that one is the first let’s say, pre professional work. Yeah. Shall we?

Jonny Blake: Definitely. And I really enjoyed that and being part of that team that would do that. You weren’t doing it on your own, obviously. Had a lot of fun. I think they got, I think they had some grants come in that summer or something, so I actually started working there.

Jonny Blake: And organizing and leading other volunteers, if that makes sense. Making menus, working with the suppliers to get the food, going to get the food. All these things, it was quite, it all started becoming really interesting to me. And that That organization had a, was associated with a cafe that was nearby.

Jonny Blake: I think the two people that started the Meals on Wheels, they used to work at this cafe. So this is how it all… And then, yeah while I was still working at the Meals on Wheels, I started working at the actual cafe in the kitchen. But it was simple. Soups, salads, sandwiches, that kind of thing.

Jonny Blake: And that’s, that was the first restaurant I guess I worked in. But like I said, they didn’t really that’s what I would do. I would make two, very busy, especially in the summer. And I’d make two like 60 to 80 liter soups a day, sandwich fillings. salads, that kind of stuff. A lot of fruit, I remember.

Jonny Blake: And I did that just for a few years, actually. And, yeah, I enjoyed that, but I was much more on my own. And I was, like, there wasn’t a huge team. There was a huge team of servers, but the kitchen was very small, I think. And I, but I think while other people that were, Doing working there when I wasn’t let’s say they would do whatever, chicken soup.

Jonny Blake: It was very good but I’d be like I mean looking at it now, it’s just really Stupid. I hate you for like I’d be like, you know Trying to find different recipes and trying to make them straight in without trying them first like just going, and making it for like 60 liters of it without trying it first.

Jonny Blake: It’s just from different recipes that I found interesting. And so I’d always try to keep one that was fairly approachable. And one that would be like a bit more out there and challenging. Do

Jonny Blake: you think always you’re finding yourself challenging for the… Against to the old habits in the kitchen, for example,

Jonny Blake: like I think the rebellion in the kitchen No, I think more like just pushing it to see The boundaries what else?

Jonny Blake: Yeah, you see how interesting you can make things and doesn’t always have to be the same. Let’s say

Batu Akyol: Did you? Have any moments of your, any kind of exploration or invention on those years? Oh my God, this is perfect. So this is, could be, yeah, a new the way of thinking of this or something like that.

Jonny Blake: I didn’t have any real training, so at that point, so I didn’t really I remember. It was more feedback that I was getting. And, yeah, the one in a summer, a very hot day, and I made this I roasted peach cold soup or something that took me forever just to peel all the peaches and do all, but but, yeah I remember that.

Jonny Blake: Going down very well. And people saying, Oh, I would have never thought of that like doing so that you’re still using that, right?

Batu Akyol: The roasting peach? I don’t know.

Jonny Blake: Sometimes. So not for a long time. But yeah, we could definitely do something like that. That’s a good idea. But yeah, that kind of I remember that.

Jonny Blake: And I don’t remember all that much.

Batu Akyol: This part is from the Canada part, right? Sorry, the, these part, those parts of the time of your life Yeah. From the Canada we’re talking about. Yeah. And then, so when you’re back to the uk, so the, is it how is going on? How did it go?

Jonny Blake: So I worked there for a few years.

Jonny Blake: I was, it worked well for me. I had, I was doing other things. I was finishing. School, like finishing university.

Batu Akyol: What did you study?

Jonny Blake: I did a bachelor’s degree in science physics and biology. Oh. And, so I was finishing that, working there, and I was playing a lot of Ultimate Frisbee. Very competitively.

Jonny Blake: So it took up a lot of my time. Huh. I enjoyed it. Probably not, though. Best use of my time, but We did quite well. Yeah, then but then I think I just made a decision that I really enjoyed kind of cooking and working in that environment and But I needed to, I couldn’t work there forever.

Jonny Blake: I need to learn this from somebody. Whether that be a school or a restaurant like a chef cause I I was really just teaching myself with pretty basic stuff, right? Yeah, I just figured I’ll do one or the other and there’s a very good cooking school in Montreal, very well funded and supported by the Quebec government.


Batu Akyol: What was the name?

Jonny Blake: It’s the etq, so the institutes tourism Total De Quebec. In Quebec. , in Montreal.

Jonny Blake: I applied to go there. They had an, I’D known someone who had gone there and they were in an Italian program within the school, which seemed, I went to go look at it, and it seemed to be a bit more current than.

Jonny Blake: standard program, let’s say. Maybe like younger chefs, people that were either had restaurants or recently or still did like it just felt a bit more current. And but yeah, it was quite difficult to be able to go there because I didn’t, I’m not francophone, I’m not from Quebec,

Jonny Blake: and because instruction was in French. And, so I had to take probably, I don’t even know how long, probably at least a year’s worth of like evening courses to get my French up to a better level.

Batu Akyol: Do you think that school is affected from the the French culinary discipline while you’re studying there?

Jonny Blake: Oh yeah, traditional French. Yeah. But like I said, like the, that side of it was. It seemed to be a bit more stale and the, so I had applied to this Italian program.

Jonny Blake: Eventually, I got, I had to do a couple of exams to get into there, and then I did that. If I hadn’t have got that, then I would have tried to just look, tried to get into probably the best restaurant I could, but and that, it worked out pretty well. I think because I was probably You know, quite a bit older than most of the people in the class.

Jonny Blake: Yeah. At that point you know what you…

Batu Akyol: That was an advantage, I think.

Jonny Blake: Yeah, you know what you want at that point. You know what you want to do,

Batu Akyol: How old were you on that thing?

Jonny Blake: At that point, going to that school, probably 27? Okay. 28, maybe? I’d been cooking for a while, where a lot of these, the other students were…

Jonny Blake: Most of them were just coming out of maybe high school, like 18, 19 years old, so they don’t really know what they want to do. Yeah. And, yeah, I just did everything I could and kept working, and at the same time, and then towards the end of it the one, one of the chefs that I had as a teacher he asked me if I would be interested in going to Italy for the summer.

Jonny Blake: Some restaurants that he worked at 10, 10 years ago or whatever. And, yeah I said sure. And I got a couple of, what would you call them, bursaries type things from the different sponsors of the school to do that. And, yeah I really enjoyed that.

Batu Akyol: So the, being in Italy about working, right?

Jonny Blake: The Italian program at that school had a lot of support from the Italian community. A very large Italian community in Montreal. Yeah. A lot of support there. And, yeah, but through, it was more like through the connections of this this one chef, this one teacher.

Batu Akyol: What kind of work were there in Italy?

Jonny Blake: It was the first place I went was it was a one star restaurant in Liguria, in a town called Savona. It’s a family owned restaurant, hotel. It was amazing.

Jonny Blake: I never, didn’t fully realize it at the time, I don’t think, but I’ll never probably see fish like that again. Just the the fish in, in, in England’s amazing, but to be that close to it. The restaurant was right on the water. Yeah it’s just, it was amazing. Fishermen coming in at the end of the day, it’s the middle of dinner service these like fishermen just.

Jonny Blake: Just walking into the kitchen, just relationships that the owner had with them and do you want this? Yeah. Okay. I’m just finishing this and you’d have to go weigh it and and yeah, that was it was amazing.

Batu Akyol: Did you learn a lot about the how to clean up the fish and cook stuff?

Batu Akyol: Cause it’s always the the ruining the fish it’s always a tricky and risky thing for the kitchen and stuff like that. So the. The head chefs always get angry about the trusting to the younger ones. Don’t ruin it. Be careful kind of stuff.

Jonny Blake: But it wasn’t like, it was like I said, it was a family run thing.

Jonny Blake: So it was it was it was great. And everything was super fresh and amazing produce. But I had a couple of good people there to show me what to do. But it wasn’t a really, no but amazing and I still, that still stays with me, that kind of freshness and simplicity in some ways and how much, how important that is.

Jonny Blake: And and it’d be like in the summer that I was there, it was incredibly busy. Beyond the capabilities of that kitchen I think, yeah, and then towards the end of that that three months even after a couple months I sat down with the owner and they were like, look this I we, do you like it here?

Jonny Blake: Cause you know, if you want to stay. You could we could, we would love for you to stay, basically. And I was like, I never, I hadn’t thought of it because I was, in my head I was just going for three months. But yeah, I ended up staying in Italy for three years.

Batu Akyol: But you spent three years in Italy?

Jonny Blake: I never went back to Canada. Canada.

Batu Akyol: What was your, the next point after the Italy, right after UK?

Jonny Blake: I worked a couple just as things go, I I worked in other places. I, one of the, a chef that had a restaurant, probably about a half an hour, 40 minute drive away.

Jonny Blake: He would come, I think it was every Sunday when they were closed, or Monday, I can’t remember. We were open, I remember that. The only day we were closed was Wednesdays, so you had Wednesday off, that was it. And, so he would come, and I got to know him, and then we went to eat at his restaurant on our day off once, and I really liked that.

Jonny Blake: And then I asked him when we’re closed, because there was going to be a closure, I think, in the winter, I can’t remember when. We I said, could I come work with you? Because I just wanted to keep working see as much as I could. And that was still in Liguria, but more in the mountains.

Jonny Blake: So it was a very different type of cooking. And again, small family run place and yeah, that was amazing as well. But through there, I connections were made, and I ended up working for. A chef named Gualtiero Marchesi, who is he’s the most famous Italian chef. Stop, and he…

Batu Akyol: How did you meet with your chef?

Jonny Blake: He came to eat, one evening he came to eat at this restaurant I was working at in the mountains. . He…

Batu Akyol: What was the restaurant, by the way? Do you remember the name?

Jonny Blake: That restaurant was in a little village called Altare, which was famous for like glass making and stuff. And the restaurant was called Quintilio. Still there. It’s now run by the son who I was working with at the time. And I, yeah, I need to go there. Really need to go there. I need to take these guys there. And But, yeah, he came Senior Marchesi, he came one evening for dinner, and it was quite last minute.

Jonny Blake: I remember that. I remember a regular guest of theirs phoned and said, okay, tonight I’m coming, but this is who’s coming with you. I thought I’d let you know. And there was this panic that just went through the whole restaurant, and I just, yeah. realized how important this person was. I knew who he was, but not, I didn’t realize the importance.

Jonny Blake: And he, yeah, he came and I got to speak with him. I’ve, my Italian was terrible, but and I, after that I wrote to him and said I’d love to come work for you one day and Yeah, it just, it took a long time, and but eventually, yeah, I got to go there, and,

Batu Akyol: how long have you been working with the chef in Italy, after that?

Jonny Blake: I think, at his at the time his restaurant, he had a few restaurants. His main one was just about 45 minutes outside of Milan, in Franciacorta. Relais Chateau, beautiful building. One of the nicest kitchens I’ve ever worked in, really. It was amazing. Very hard, but it was a beautiful kitchen.

Jonny Blake: I probably, I worked there. Under a year, but he then had a he had a contract to open a restaurant in France, in, in south of France, in Cannes, and they asked me to go there, and I figured that would be more opportunities for to work for My my wife to come with me basically so we decided to go there and it was like all his team they’re all Italian kitchen but and I ended up working there for about a year and a half and Eventually it was time to leave France and Then it was what do we do next?

Jonny Blake: and At that time I’d been reading Everything you read in I was in that kind of stage, I think, of my career where I was just wanting as much information as possible and I was reading, getting every magazine I could and everything I was reading was about London and I think it was around, that was probably around 2003, 2004 and London was exploding and I think So everything I read was about there and we would come here and my grandmother was here.

Jonny Blake: So we would come You know every few months to see her anyway, and because we were close so we would go eat and But then yeah, I in all those articles About London there was always right at the end of the every article. There was this there was always this little bit about this place Outside of London, just outside of London, called the Fat Duck, and with a chef named Heston Blumenthal, and I kept reading about that, and it, what was happening there was, sounded very interesting I was reading quite a bit about, more the science side, it was, like, who more about the associations with these different I don’t know what to say, it’s not universities, but groups that he he seemed to be meeting with and bringing this whole other side of things into into the kitchen. And, so yeah, before, it was either, I was like, I’m gonna, let’s go see what that’s about.

Jonny Blake: And wrote to them and. Just right timing I think in my background. I don’t think they were having, even at that point, I don’t think they had many people from outside of England applying for jobs there. Yeah, went, it felt like a very good fit from the first day. And yeah, a month and a half later I went back.

Batu Akyol: What was your first position?

Jonny Blake: Chef de party. Everyone was a chef de party. It was a very small kitchen. At the time, and you had, yeah, you, there was no real room for you had, if you were taking up this much space you better be able to be responsible for something.

Jonny Blake: And, yeah, it just felt like a very good fit. I spent two days there and yeah I don’t know, they offered me a job and a month and a half later, I moved there and,

Batu Akyol: what was your first shock in your opinion, when you were in the kitchen, in Fat Duck against your let’s say, habits in the kitchen?

Jonny Blake: I think there was, it was this crazy contradiction between there, between I’d just come from a place at least in Italy where I was working in Alberetta, was a three star was now a two star huge kitchen space for everything, a room for everything like every piece of equipment, everything was just very easy to clean like just purpose built professional kitchen and but very cooking methods, quite traditional ideas and inspirations completely.

Jonny Blake: from, especially for Italian Sanders for out of nowhere like amazing. And then going to this tiny like pub kitchen basically serving three star Michelin food. And but on one hand you’d have these crazy pieces of measuring equipment, measuring. Scales measuring to point whatever of a gram pH, meters all these things to measure.

Batu Akyol: You’re talking about serious science?

Jonny Blake: Yeah, like measure Using a ruler in mise en place to make sure everything’s the same size. Yet all of the Bowls and pans were out back in the shed.

Jonny Blake: It was this crazy kind of it just had to be, there was absolutely no space. And but like still, even though it’s in a shed outside, you’re still everyone treating it as cleaning it as you would, but it was quite ridiculous when you thought about it. I think that was probably the biggest shock reading recipes that said mix, combine all ingredients in the big Red Bowl. And blend till smooth. And you’re like, so now I gotta go find the big Red Bowl. It was that kind of, it was a very interesting kind of period in the life of that restaurant, I think.

Batu Akyol: I think Fat Duck was a last stop before the Trivet, right?

Jonny Blake: Yeah. We came to the UK and that was the only place I ever worked.

Batu Akyol: When you get the idea about the the opening of your own restaurant, ever since the beginning or the after, at which point you started to think about it?

Jonny Blake: I think I was quite, for a long time I was quite personally invested in everything that Fat Duck Thai was doing you, To work somewhere that long you do have to almost treat it as your own and to continue to be motivated But I think eventually, in that situation, and I’ve heard about it, I’ve heard it with many different chefs over the years, not there, but in any restaurant you basically get to a point where you realize it’s not yours.

Jonny Blake: And if you want to do all these things that you’re trying to do, it’s just going to be a fight and it’s not yours. So if you want to do those things, you’ve got to figure out a way to have something that’s your own, if that makes sense.

Batu Akyol: Do you think two or three stars restaurants, I’m not talking especially about the Fat Duck, but the version of that kind of kitchen, let’s say.

Batu Akyol: Yeah. Do you think there are more corporate than the family business, like a boss type of kitchens which is the family business for example, one the guy who is the the oldest one in the kitchen and yelling to everyone, and then giving the order rules, and then they are following him or her, but in other case, of course, again, the one chef, two or three stars or one star Michelin restaurant the following the rules, who put that rules, but on the other hand giving some space to the other Chef de Partie or Sous Chef, another one, which they can find their own way as well.

Batu Akyol: Do, are you agree about that? So the the Michelin star restaurants could be more corporates, I don’t know if this is the right word or not, but in the kitchen, for giving more space about challenging their skills, for example for the other guys.

Jonny Blake: I think it depends. I think it depends on the chef, really, and the owner, or whatever, what they, how they see it, and how they want to, want it to be.

Batu Akyol: Did you have a chance, like this way, while you were working anywhere in your career?

Batu Akyol: Some chefs were giving space to you about challenging yourself?

Jonny Blake: Yeah I think to a certain degree, I definitely Had space to do those things there. It was more, it’s more about like the vision, let’s say.

Jonny Blake: And that has to be one person’s. And I think, yeah, eventually you just, you come to a point where you’re like, Oh, we should do this, we should do that. It’s but that’s, it’s not your restaurant to make those kind of calls, an ingredient here a dish here, part of the menu here. That’s fine, but when it’s ultimately about vision, it’s not yours.

Batu Akyol: So the, that was the first first step about to start thinking of your own restaurant. Yeah. And what was the other the inspirations behind the creation of this restaurant?

Jonny Blake: I think every, I think ultimately every chef would want to have their own place, whether it be a restaurant or whatever it is. And not not very many get to do that. It’s, it takes a money aside, it takes a lot of experience, I think, and even to say, okay, I’m going to have my own restaurant. It’s okay, but what is it? None. I don’t, there’s not a lot that can answer that question so I think but we, I think, I’m not sure if I think the biggest thing for here was, for Trivet was that it was my, myself and Isa, and it was about that unique, what I believe is a very unique relationship in, in, In the restaurant world between front of house and and kitchen.

Jonny Blake: And even like the wine side of it. I don’t believe there’s, in most kitchens, there’s that much thought and conversation between those two aspects of a restaurant. It may it seems like it should be all the time, but it’s just not.

Batu Akyol: It’s too push or expensive for the restaurants for having those two high skilled people at the same time in the restaurant.


Jonny Blake: Yeah. And I think that’s part of it, but a lot of times they just see things differently. They’re that part of the restaurant’s in their own little world and the kitchen’s in their own little world. They don’t see how the two coming working together makes it takes it up to here. It’s just different.

Batu Akyol: How do you think the the relation between chef and sommelier or master sommelier? Should I say master sommelier for Isa or just sommelier?

Jonny Blake: You have to ask him, but yeah, he is master sommelier, master. He’s earned that.

Batu Akyol: You are the executive chef of rest of this restaurant and he’s the the master of the Yeah, the Sommelier stuff. Are you always agree about the the matching point between the food and the wine stuff or how working that cuz two heavy guys Yeah. Talking about the pairing the food and stuff. So the how was working that.

Jonny Blake: It’s a relationship that’s been developed over a long period of time.

Jonny Blake: And we just know how to work with each other. And I think it’s always, anything is always presented as a suggestion to try something, if that makes sense. And I think we’re both very open to that. So it’s never this is how it should be. It’s we should try this. You know what we should try with this is this wine.

Jonny Blake: You know what we should try with this dish would really make this wine very exciting for this, would be if we put a little bit of this in there. It’s always about suggestions for trying things. I think that’s, and that’s how everything’s presented. So it’s never a has to be this way kind of thing. And I think that’s just a way of working that we’ve Just gotten used to over, wow, quite a long time now. We both started at the Fat Duck very similar time, about two weeks apart without knowing each other, and I think long have you been, you’ve been together? So that was 2005.

Jonny Blake: 18 years. Wow. Yeah.

Batu Akyol: So you know each other quite well then? Yeah. So a battle is inside.

Jonny Blake: I think so, yeah.

Batu Akyol: We’ve been talking about your partnership with the Master sommelier Isa and how it didn’t say in hand is the three with experience. Yeah. How do you ensure that every customer has a memorable experience attribute?

Batu Akyol: What is your aim? What is your, niche point? Yeah.

Jonny Blake: I think. I think it’s it’s the realization that we’ve done this for a long time and we know that it’s not just about one thing. Yeah. And sure, the food for us needs to be good, for one, high quality ingredients and I think people, when they come here, they’re expecting something interesting.

Jonny Blake: It’s not something that they might. Already know. And but it’s more about more than anything. It’s the food, the wine, all of that needs to be and at a certain level, but it’s more about just their experience here and just how they’re made to feel while they’re here I think, and as much as possible.

Jonny Blake: Whether it’s a slower night where you’ve got a lot of time for everybody or if it’s a busier night where your time You know at the table is limited. I think you still need to make sure that the people leave You know your customers leave feeling the same way, which is they’ve been Taken care of and but also in a very comfortable way, not They haven’t been made to feel they haven’t felt intimidated in any way.

Jonny Blake: They haven’t felt embarrassed or shocked. We try to make it professional, but relaxed at the same time. And I think as well, to this space, one thing that was very important for us, for our restaurant, was that we had a restaurant with a kitchen. that was on the same floor as the dining room and had some kind of view into the room and the room into the kitchen.

Jonny Blake: What we ended up with is something very open. But I think that, that helps a lot. If people, maybe not everyone feels comfortable to do it, but they can come right up and come right up to the to the kitchen and yeah and speak to us and you know Say they like something or they didn’t like something or if we’re right there and we do make it quite Easy for them to do that.

Jonny Blake: So I think they make them feel part of it Let’s say

Batu Akyol: I think the customers or guests of This kind of level restaurants, which is a Michelin star restaurant a little bit more, let’s say advanced the eaters and they’re always looking for challenging their tastes and then they’re let’s say the tongue habits they’re pushing the boundaries and that’s why they always would like to come after eat to the kitchen side and asking or taking some advice or something like that.

Batu Akyol: So the, this is a part of the type of this business restaurant business, which is The Michelin level, I think.

Jonny Blake: Yeah. Is it? Yeah, I think so. And I think one thing that I had read that and I spoke to him about it. One, one thing I’d read that senior Marquese had said a long time ago when he had first opened his restaurant in, in, in Milan in like the late seventies, early eighties, and the stuff he was doing there was just like He opened a restaurant in Milan with no pasta on the menu in Italy, and… Interesting. It was but I think when he was being really criticized for things like that, what he said was that people don’t come to my restaurant because they’re hungry.

Jonny Blake: Okay. They come here to be I can’t remember, but that’s the main thing I remember him saying was they don’t come because they’re hungry They’re coming because they want to have something interesting, right? And obviously you need to get your You need to work hard on your portion sizes and make sure that people don’t you know leave feeling You know, they didn’t get value at the end of the day eating out now is, there’s no way around it. It’s a lot of money. I’m not going to say it’s expensive, but it’s, it is a lot of money and so you want people to feel like they, when they leave, they they’re happy and that they feel, they felt the value in what they just spent that money on, but I don’t think that necessarily means they need to be full. Let’s say, so I think you’re right in that what you’re saying, why people, I would hope why people are coming here is because they they it’s something a little more than just a meal, if that makes sense. It’s about the whole thing and

Batu Akyol: it’s quite different. Not different, but a little bit funny for me, which is Italian style of the kitchen, let’s say, the restaurants. The the spirit of the back of the the Italian food, which is the filling up your stomach as much as you can, which, which pasta and other stuff, all the carbs, the pizza. Yeah. And, but the, when you put this the Michelin star level restaurant style, let’s say fine dining, let’s not call only the Michelin, because there’s a plenty of restaurants. Who hasn’t Michelin star, but they are quite in in privilege level, let’s say. And then so the you were in the, in Italy for three years. And you’ve been working with the different restaurants and also the Michelin star restaurant as well. When you’re back, or when you come to the Fat Duck. And then so the do you think the kitchen? On your mind, was working and the the chef of Fat Duck; was realizing that using those skills or he just tried to reshape you with his own way?

Jonny Blake: I think, I, no, I I think I was looking for something like that. Yeah. If that makes sense. Okay. And it was just a very good fit where I really learned a lot. Working at the restaurants I did in Italy completely formed me and made me understand what Michelin restaurants were. And there’s a level there of service and and what’s expected in terms of what’s on the plate and things like that. But I think I was looking for something more. Challenging. More precise. Okay. More, I don’t know, at the time it was and, yeah, I found it.

Batu Akyol: Yeah. So the if you, if I ask you the let’s describe the trivet’s persona. Yeah. Like a person. Yeah. Or like a vibe, let’s say. What would you say for trivet? What kind of person

Batu Akyol: is that? It’s a If I want to meet with him.

Jonny Blake: Yeah, it’s a very warm very welcoming.

Batu Akyol: Where is he from? Where is he?

Batu Akyol: Or she? Where is she from? Is it he

Batu Akyol: or she, by the way? Just for curiosity, I’m asking.

Jonny Blake: I don’t know. I think at the moment, it’s a he. Okay. I think. Okay. But, that can change, but, I think, yeah, very warm welcoming, but I don’t think it’s it’s not from here, it’s I think we happen to be here, if that makes sense.

Jonny Blake: Okay. I don’t think it, I don’t think it’s like. Rooted in anything British.

Batu Akyol: So you just created my next question. What is the answer? Which is the, what do you think, what is the London food for you?

Jonny Blake: Yeah I think London food I mean it’s an amazing city for food. And I think it has been for quite a while.

Jonny Blake: Like I mean I wasn’t here before. When I described you before but I think at that point, it really did explode around early 2000s and but I think the most unique thing about London food scene is that just the the variety of both types of food and levels I think it’s just there’s so much choice and there’s so much here and I think I don’t think there’s not many cities like that in the world, like truly international cities and that can offer food on all different levels and all different types.

Batu Akyol: People are talking about the Australia as well, about the diversity, but I think because of the ingredients variety. London is much more richer than there I think. What do you think?

Jonny Blake: Yeah I’ve lived in Australia for a good part of 2015. We ran the restaurant there. I think there’s really good, some amazing ingredients there, but they also, they’re lacking in other things.

Jonny Blake: But it’s like any place is going to have some stuff better than others, but I think with Australia, it’s just so far away from everything. Yeah. It just makes it even more difficult to bring anything. Far away from the old habits, right? Yeah. Of the world or something. Yeah.

Batu Akyol: What are your plans and aspirations for the future of TRIVET, do you think?

Jonny Blake: I think continuing to see how far we can push the food and the, Service within this environment within this kind of more casual environment. I think this is Within this A la carte Menu offering as well. It’s I think it’s The way things are it’s becoming harder and harder To do what we’re doing.

Jonny Blake: You know if you look at most restaurants that are Have the same aspirations that we do It all goes to a very focused tasting menu that Changes, but it’s you know, that’s what you’re getting when you’re coming. That’s it. You’re gonna have this and these are the wines you’re gonna have with it and it’s that’s you know, not what we’re trying to do and trying to have more of a Dialogue with our customers, let’s say about what they like and and obviously with an a la Cartt menu, you’re offering a lot more choice there.

Jonny Blake: And I think there’s a lot of power in that, in, in terms of people’s enjoyment of their time in your restaurant, their ability to make choices. Is a big part of that.

Batu Akyol: How do you see the evolution of London’s culinary culture? And what role do you believe the trivets will play in it?

Jonny Blake: It’s a pretty tricky time.

Jonny Blake: And all those things I said about London, I hope they can continue. Because, with everything that’s gone on, it’s becoming harder and harder. You could very easily see it going to a space where all of those kind of choices and all of those levels and different types could easily go away.

Jonny Blake: And you’d be left with some very good, very high end restaurants, but and then. Just a very standard chain offer. Nothing in between. You can see that happening. And hopefully it doesn’t.

Batu Akyol: How do you think, or, Do you plan anything against, or, working with with the climate change stuff? What do you think about that? Using your ingredients, working with your suppliers? Or even the changing the shape of your, the menu style. Yeah. Do you think that this the, which is the fact of the world now the climate change. Yeah. Do you think, or do you planning something for this?

Jonny Blake: I think it, at least for now, it’s not what drives us. Where… There are some restaurants out there that do it very well, and that’s their main

Jonny Blake: What would you call it motivation I think that’s a that’s very difficult for restaurants in the city. I mean you just naturally You know if you if that was going to be our focus I think we would have to be somewhere outside of London But I think just with the suppliers more and more now, you work as close as you can with them.

Jonny Blake: They’re dictating what we’re putting on our menus. More than before. I think a lot of it was much more, this is what I want to do. Go find it for me now. It’s this is what you should be using. And for many different reasons, for price, for availability, for just like you’re saying it’s it’s the best thing to be using right now.

Jonny Blake: Whether it’s. It’s, I don’t know about whether, how close it is to you, it just depends on how it’s coming to you, but but I think you’re more and more led by them now. And I think for us that’s the best way forward in terms of addressing that kind of stuff. So let’s delve into your personal preferences preferences and habits a bit.

Batu Akyol: What’s your favorite cuisine to cook and eat personally? Has it changed over the years, by the way?

Jonny Blake: I started really, I think if there’s one type of kind of cuisine that formed me, it’s Italian. Always go back to that. But in terms of cooking, but in terms of eating, I would say probably Japanese, but I’m not that, I’m not very, I’m not that experienced in cooking, let’s say.

Jonny Blake: So understanding over the years, understanding more and more ingredients even like going back to when I started at the Fat Duck, that was, it was very hard to get any Japanese ingredients. Where now it’s like, they’re everywhere. So it’s learning to use those.

Jonny Blake: So I think, yeah, I like the, I

Jonny Blake: guess like the kind of cleanness of Japanese cooking. The textures. Really, just really enjoy that. Maybe need to get better at cooking it.

Batu Akyol: Are there any particular ingredients of your fabric?

Jonny Blake: I think I really, and this goes right back to when I first was cooking in Italy.

Jonny Blake: Unfortunately, I can’t get them here to a degree of freshness that makes it useful. What was it? Sea urchin. It’s still for me the most, I don’t know it’s the single most . Flavor wise expression of the sea. And just unbelievable flavor and texture. The whole bit.

Batu Akyol: You can’t find it here, no?

Jonny Blake: You can, but you really have to be very close to where they are. They don’t really, you can get them, but it’s not the same. You do see them, and I think they’re more The ones you see more in like Japanese cooking, where they’re already out of the the tongues are already out of the shell.

Jonny Blake: I’m not really sure even what you call it. They’re all laid out on a board. That’s not it. That’s a very different thing for me.

Batu Akyol: The shape is correct, but the taste is not. Yeah. So that

Batu Akyol: is your favorite.

Jonny Blake: I think but I don’t, like I said, maybe it’s because I don’t have it around.

Jonny Blake: Anymore. Maybe that’s why I…

Batu Akyol: What is your favorite ingredients that you can find here and always would like to play with it?

Jonny Blake: I… I think It’s very small kind of thing, but just in terms of a snacky thing that I like to incorporate into dishes is like a salted kombu.

Jonny Blake: Japanese ingredient, but just very chewy. Releases incredible amounts of umami when you’re chewing on it, and adding it to little bits to dishes brings all these, brings them up to a another level, for sure. That and I think more and more now not one type of vinegar, but, like, all different types and exploring those more and seeing, I think, in, in our cooking here that balance between Like sweet and sour a lot and sweet, sour, bitter, like those three and pushing them as far as you can, I think makes things very exciting.

Batu Akyol: Do you have any favorite restaurant in London you are visiting often?

Jonny Blake: I don’t eat out as much as I should. Really? Or I would like to it’s quite I think it’s important. To try to see what’s going on but I don’t know. At the moment, It’s okay, we can skip that. All right.

Batu Akyol: Any particular food market or local eateries? Any of your…

Jonny Blake: We’re very close to Borough Market here, which we go to quite a bit. It’s much more of a tourist… Yeah. kind of space now, but it’s good to… to go. Quite often, just to see seasonally what’s coming in and out.

Batu Akyol: The mushroom guy is quite powerful, right?

Jonny Blake: Yeah. But we’re also, a lot of our, a lot of suppliers, of our suppliers that used to be in Borough Market. Yeah. And that basically got pushed out because of the tourist aspect of it. They’re just at the other end of Bermondsey, really.

Jonny Blake: We’re quite close to a lot of them, so it’s yeah.

Batu Akyol: Have you formed any strong relationships with the local ingredient suppliers?

Jonny Blake: Yeah, there’s been quite a few. Not just from this restaurant, but our fish supplier has been a good friend of mine for a long time. He’s based in Cornwall. And it’s Flying Fish Seafoods, and they’re I’ve known Johnny, who is the owner of it for a long time, and he, yeah, just, it’s a relationship on a supplier level, but also like a friend, and just, he sees a lot about this business, a whole different side of it than we do, so it’s always very Educational, to speak with him about things.

Jonny Blake: And then, yeah, I think being here, like I was saying, between, being between Borough Market and Spa Terminus and stuff like, where a lot of these places are in the, in different arches. One of our wild ingredient, mushrooms sea veg, sea plants wild room. Mike Distromelo. His business there it’s again, very led by them in terms of ingredients we’re using. On the…

Batu Akyol: Do you have any old school supplier, like they are growing their own veggies in old habits or old school ways?

Jonny Blake: I think with a, a, not very local, but a farm that’s in Cambridge. Flourish Farm. I love what they’re trying to do there. They’ve been through some crazy times these last few years with obviously COVID, etc. But then like flooding, drought, like it’s just on the scale that they’re working on, it’s very hard.

Jonny Blake: And but I I really very interested in what they do. So we try to get as much as we can from them. And then, but yeah, I’d like to continue those with, I think just having one farm that’s quite difficult you need to so forging more of those relationships with different farms is probably the way forward in terms of I think more and more that’s going to be the challenge is in what’s going to separate restaurants from others is their relationships with different suppliers and what you can get. And that takes a long time.

Batu Akyol: Are there any unique or lesser known ingredients that you love to incorporate into your dishes?

Jonny Blake: I think that, that salted kombu is probably lesser known. But other than that not so much. Like I said, like exploring all different types of vinegars and things like that. Always finding new things to bring different flavors in.

Batu Akyol: Are you working with fermentation too much?

Jonny Blake: We do. I think we do some things. It’s not like the cornerstone of our of our kitchen. But definitely there’s a number of things that we do at different times of the year.

Jonny Blake: Ferment to A, to develop a different flavor, but B, to extend the season of some of these things. Whether it be lacto fermentation or pickling or whatever. Getting stuff in it at the peak of its season. And preserving it so that you can carry on with these dishes longer, I think.

Jonny Blake: There’s a few that come to mind, I think. When they’re in season, we get… A lot of wild lingonberries from Sweden. And we pickle them. And then we can use them in a couple of, two different dishes we use them in during the year. I really fermented crowsnizz. So crowsnizz, those little tubers. Very crunchy, very interesting texture. We ferment those and it, I’ve always really enjoyed the texture of them, but flavor never did much for me until we started fermenting them, and then they turned it into a whole different thing. And then very soon, towards the end of June we always get a lot of melons in from Italy.

Jonny Blake: And we ferment those and use those in our duck dish that we enjoy making. Again, just, it’s melon an amazing flavor anyway. But then making it into, creating a completely different flavor by fermenting it. Always slightly different. I think that’s the… Really interesting thought about those processes.

Batu Akyol: It’s very interesting about hearing that actually. I’d like to taste that, so I’m really curious about that. How do the changing seasons influence the menu and dishes you create at the tRIVET?

Jonny Blake: I think, that’s a question we get asked a lot indirectly by customers because they’ll say, how often do you change the menu?

Jonny Blake: And I think it’s… It’s never a case of we run this menu for two months and then we change it completely. I think some dishes are more seasonal than others. It’s, I don’t know where others will try to, we try to be quite flexible with the dishes so that we can keep running them and keep making them better while changing.

Jonny Blake: Garnishes as seasons go through, if that makes sense. Where other they come in and out. But I think it’s just about availability. And you just want to be using the stuff at it’s best. And I think more and more now, the biggest factor is, if you’re trying to use ingredients that aren’t in season.

Jonny Blake: It it’s the quality is not there and the price just goes through the roof. So why would you

Batu Akyol: so you are not connected with any ingredients? Creating tradition Connected with any ingredients, so you just Connected about the if it’s fresh enough and the price level is I think reasonable and then you

Batu Akyol: Consider that those come hand in hand.

Jonny Blake: Yeah, generally, I mean I think with the again, being led by suppliers if you want to running a restaurant in England you can have turbot on your menu year round. Yeah. Okay. It’s arguably, it’s the best fish, period. But realistically, there’s a season for it where, It’s most plentiful, it’s at it’s best, and that’s now and you see it when you’re using it a lot when you’re using it out of season, it’s still a turbot, but It’s not the same thing.

Jonny Blake: It’s not the same thing, and it’s and it’s cost twice as much as well, because there’s not as much around, but it’s things like that, I think, and just using, trying to use them when they’re at their best. And for me, I have to be led by my suppliers to to understand that,

Batu Akyol: do you think your the guests are following up to the season’s rules? For, they are asking the local turbot, for example. Not the out of season, the turbot, just looking for the particular.

Jonny Blake: Yeah, there’s certain ingredients that people… There’s only so many, but rhubarb. Everyone gets super excited about when rhubarb comes around. I think the first really, All the spring ingredient let’s say, that comes in to really signify, okay, here’s a big change to asparagus.

Jonny Blake: And everyone in the UK goes crazy for asparagus season, which we’re just starting now, UK. And as a restaurant, you try to extend that, because it is it can be as, depending on the season, the weather it can be as short as four weeks. Ideally six to eight, but it can just, and I think you’re more experienced diner understands that.

Jonny Blake: So when it’s there, they know that out of nowhere it can just end even though, oh yeah, it should go to whatever end of June, they can phone you and to be like, yeah, it’s not, it’s, it didn’t, it’s not going to happen this year. It’s going to end now enjoy it while it’s there. And I think.

Jonny Blake: Our more experienced customers they’re always asking for that. When are you guys starting with this? When are you starting with that? When do strawberries start? When things like that.

Batu Akyol: You have some marks about the the seasoning starts ingredients, let’s say.

Batu Akyol: A rhubarb is it’s the end of the summer, or?

Jonny Blake: No, rhubarb, so in, in the UK, forced rhubarb, we talk about, it’s forced rhubarb, is the one, the really special one that comes from Yorkshire, the ones that are grown in the, indoors, in the dark, and they have a very fine texture and so that’s What is the exact time of it?

Jonny Blake: That’s you’ll see it usually just before, Christmas, but it’s not really, it’s more like January, February, January, February, so done now, basically. Asparagus, yeah, like now May, June type thing. Strawberries look, they’ve found a way to grow strawberries that are decent ten months of the year now but when they really start tasting like something is It’s just starting now, I think you start getting Garregat strawberries and stuff from Spain a month and a half ago, but I think the real UK season is now, and I think things like strawberries, they don’t travel well it’s, you gotta use them when they’re at their most plentiful, let’s say, which is starting now.

Jonny Blake: I’m trying to think what else, melons, like I talked about, that’s more. June and mid June, lobster season now, starts now. Again, you can use lobster all year round. There’s restaurants out there, that’s all they do is lobster. But to use the best, which is your blue lobster, your native lobsters, I think Canadian lobsters are good, but, I think, If I have to give it to one, it’s going to be the native lobster, it’s different, but that’s starting now as well. One of our signature dishes, I would say, is, starts coming on now with the lobster.

Batu Akyol: From that supply, you’re talking about that the Cornwall ?

Jonny Blake: Yeah. Okay. So they would come from the lobsters that we, most of the lobsters we get from them would come from Newquay. And at what time, exactly the year?

Jonny Blake: Of the year?

Jonny Blake: Now. For the lobster? Now. Starting now, yeah.

Jonny Blake: Okay.

Batu Akyol: How do you cook them? Here in trivet?

Jonny Blake: We do a few different dishes but the one that is I would say is one of our signature dishes is a it’s a dish called Drunk Lobster Trivet Noodles, which Isa named it that.

Jonny Blake: After a few different iterations and getting different types of, not the, I would say I think when we first put it on it was like, I think I might have called it tagliolini. Cause it’s a, it’s kind of pasta all pasta is noodles, but it’s much more of a noodle texture than pasta and, His point was I think that, By calling it tagliolini, you’re leading people to think it’s something that it’s not, and then they’re disappointed.

Jonny Blake: And it’s true, once we called it that, people understood it a lot better. But, it’s it’s a very interesting dish, I think. It’s the lobsters themselves are cooked in, of sake and kombu, boiled down to give this. Gravy, or? It’s a stock, but it’s got a lot of like thickness to it, let’s say, because of the kombu. And then we It’s not like a demi glace sauce? No, it doesn’t, it’s not, it doesn’t go down that far. And then, we cook we take the tails, we cut them in half.

Jonny Blake: And we cook them in the shell, in a shallow pan. Some of that lobster stock, and more sake, and just very quickly poach them just shaking the pan so the stock comes over the flesh a little bit, but just cooked. And then we separately, we take the, like I was saying, the pasta that we make, the noodles we make, is very dry.

Jonny Blake: dough it’s almost impossible to bring together, and we, basically we take a set amount of this broth that we’re going to cook the noodles in, so they’re not cooked in water at all, and that broth is made up of lobster stock, dashi, and the, what’s left in the pan after we cook the lobster, if that makes sense, so three of those things together.

Jonny Blake: And a set amount of that broth, a set weight of noodles, and you just cook, basically you put both of those in a pan and move it, cook it medium, and once the broth is reduced and absorbed into the noodles are cooked. If that makes sense. And so it’s all of its, that flavor is.

Jonny Blake: Concentrated into the noodles themselves. And then the the tail goes there. There’s some sea herbs and stuff that goes around. And then the table pour over a finishing kind of sauce. Let’s say so and a lot of sake a lot of lobster and yeah,

Batu Akyol: and then that noodle is just becoming a legend The very taste I think right because

Jonny Blake: yeah, it’s very full a lot of bite a lot of chew to it and it’s not quite you know, and I think it took me a long time to figure that out and It’s very interesting dish for me.

Jonny Blake: I think because it comes from two very distinct ideas one of them being Is a very famous food is he a food scientist? Writer, food scientist, his name is, he’s an American named Harold McGee. Who? Harold McGee. Yeah. And, I met him, by the way. Yeah. Yeah. I’ve met him just from my background, I met him.

Jonny Blake: I spend a lot of time with him, and it’s amazing. But I read this one article that he wrote. It wasn’t in one of his books, it was in an article. And he wrote about. Someone had asked him, why do you have to cook pasta in like why do you have to cook 500 grams of pasta in 10 liters of boiling water?

Jonny Blake: Why? It seems and then chuck it all down the sink. That seems like a waste, especially people start thinking more about these things now. And he was like I don’t know. Let’s find out if it makes any difference. And so we started cooking this pasta, just dry spaghetti from a store, in less and less water.

Jonny Blake: And then he figured that you could if you wanted to, work out exactly how much water you need to cook this pasta and it would just no waste basically. And I found that, and he said it made, Little or no difference to the final thing. You couldn’t tell blind. And so all this like a lot of different cultures of cooking, there’s a way you do it, and they make up reasons why, and it doesn’t, and if you actually try them it, they prove it wrong, let’s say.

Jonny Blake: And I thought that was super interesting, and I thought what if I did that, but instead with water? If I did that with stocks, and so work out a set amount, and whether it be, the first ones I did were like a mushroom stock, and then I did a beef one, and then a crab one, trying these different ways, and that, and then I read, completely separately, I’d been reading this book, and it was a Japanese book about, and there was this one dish in it, it wasn’t lobster, it was something else, but.

Jonny Blake: They were cooking, I like this idea of cooking this shellfish in the shell in a broth with sake and so yeah, we pieced those two ideas together into this concept of drunk lobster trivet noodles.

Batu Akyol: What was the, what is the the best time of the year for you in trivet about the ingredients?

Jonny Blake: I think they’re all exciting, but I think, probably, with the wine and everything, I think maybe more late summer, fall that period between like end of August and December, I think. And I think that might be just, maybe again, Coming from Canada that’s it.

Jonny Blake: Generally everything, the whole growing season, it’s it culminates with that period at the end of August, September, and everything’s available, and you gotta do so much preserving, and that mentality, kind of thing. Maybe that’s why, I don’t know. Just feels like that’s when it’s, when we’re…

Jonny Blake: You get truffle starts coming in and yeah, I don’t know.

Batu Akyol: What is the importance of the sustainability and the role it plays in your seasonal menu? Are you aware of the sustainability let’s say, responsibility? Yeah.

Batu Akyol: And then do you, are you doing something special in the kitchen

Batu Akyol: for this?

Jonny Blake: I wouldn’t say we’re doing anything in particular. It’s a thought and it’s and like I was saying before, it’s something that, it’s the main thing what do you call it? It’s not motivate like your company has a mission.

Jonny Blake: Okay. Mission statement. It’s not what, it’s part of what we do, but it’s not the main thing. I think we just try to be as responsible as we can, like I said, with the seasons, with where we’re getting things, how we’re using things, trying to use everything. And you just learn over time maybe the way you were doing things before isn’t the best way, and you learn to try different things, but I wouldn’t say there’s one thing, I can’t think of one thing in particular that we’re doing that is, we only do it because it’s for sustainability reasons.

Jonny Blake: I can’t think of anything.

Batu Akyol: All right, so these are the end of my whole questions. So did we have, would you like to add something which I didn’t ask? Would you like to talk anything about?

Jonny Blake: I think, maybe just, I don’t know, it probably would have gone into one of your questions somewhere along there, but like in terms of what is Trivet and what we are trying to do, and I think, In terms of that interesting food, interesting wine, in a high, a very high level but in a comfortable environment.

Jonny Blake: I think the goal of that was to, and one of the reasons I think we specifically went with an a la carte menu, was to, we always saw ourselves as being a combination of destination restaurant and kind of neighborhood restaurant. And, I think in that we wanted to have in the neighborhood restaurant side of things, you wanted, we always wanted to have regular customers that come I don’t know, you get to know them.

Jonny Blake: They come a few times, maybe they come once a week, maybe they come a couple of times a month, but they’re just, they they, you get to know them, they get to know you, and… We, they end up, those relationships end up informing you of what this thing is supposed to be, if that, and what people expect and it points you in the right direction and helps you make decisions on things sometimes.

Batu Akyol: Are they mostly living in neighborhoods or in a city generally?

Jonny Blake: Bit of both. But yeah, generally neighborhood. But then we’ve also got regular customers that are coming from America, Scandinavia, but maybe not once a week, obviously maybe twice a year. But that the whole a la carte side of things and also the wine side and building that kind of relationship and they eat I just don’t think you really get With in a tasting menu format so much.

Jonny Blake: Sure that you can change it and people will come back with it. I think you know That wine customer that wants to come maybe bring their own bottle, you know Buying bottle interesting bottles that go with many things rather than one glass for one dish and it’s a very different type of dynamic.

Jonny Blake: And it’s anyway, that’s what we were hoping to achieve.

Batu Akyol: Let me read one thing to you, which I saw on the internet. This is the actually the statement of the Michelin the guides about the TRIVET.

Batu Akyol: The two owners of TRIVET, both alumni of the Fat Duck, have pooled their extensive experience to create a restaurant that seems to just get everything right. Johnny Lake and his team in the open kitchen focus on producing fuss free dishes using prime ingredients as thoroughly prepared. How would you describe these fuss free dishes?

Jonny Blake: Yeah, I mean I don’t, I I think I don’t really know I think, look, it’s in this kind of more comfortable environment that we’re trying to create for the customer, less intimidating, etc. Part of that for me is not for different reasons, but you don’t have Six people around the table in suits each person’s got one thing to do, that is fussy. And it’s a level of fine dining that’s it’s a type of fine dining.

Jonny Blake: But I think it’s, I find it very yeah, intimidating a little bit it’s just, it’s not comfortable when there’s That many people around you so that maybe what they mean by that is like it’s generally it’s all on the plate There’s not there’s not a lot of Kind of table props around it there’s not something over here that’s smelling like something There’s not a decoration over here specifically for that dish.

Jonny Blake: I look at the end of the day. I did that for a long time and I understand the Effect and impact that has on your perception of what you’re eating I think it’s not what we wanted to do here. I find that kind of thing locks you into specific menu style and Once you’re doing it, you can’t get out of it.

Jonny Blake: So I And I think also just the a la carte format It’s very hard to create dishes for that, and Putting everything that’s needed onto one plate rather than just three elements and we’re trying to keep it simple, but at the same time I Don’t know about that fuss free because we I think maybe it looks fuss free.

Jonny Blake: That’s what they’re saying Because there’s a lot of thought that goes into these dishes

Batu Akyol: and it continues the combinations of ingredients are perfectly balanced Yeah, flavors are assured and the execution is faultless.

Jonny Blake: I mean I Those are good things to hear. Especially from something as important to me as Michelin, yeah. And it says, it’s a pleasure eating food of such clarity and confidence. So that confidence part, I think, coming from your relation with the ingredients.

Jonny Blake: Yeah, and I think you find, in terms of developing dishes, we’ve done this a long time. You don’t know everything, but you, sometimes you just know it’s going to work.

Jonny Blake: And sometimes That’s especially when we’re trying new things, that gets that’s the first time we’re putting it all together, and just to get some feedback from them, but you know it’s going to work already, if that makes sense, but maybe to different degrees of working.

Batu Akyol: Okay. I think we are done. Okay. What do you think?

Jonny Blake: It’s good. Yeah, it’s nice to talk.

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