People: Interviews

James Knappett

Chef-patron of Kitchen Table and Bubbledogs

The chef-patron of Kitchen Table, which won its second Michelin last year, and the soon-to-reopen Bubbledogs, which will be re-emerging as a Champagne bar, tells us about his favourite wining/dining spots in London and beyond.

What’s your favourite casual London restaurant?

I’m a regular at Black Axe Mangal, A Wong and Xi’an Impression, who all deliver on flavour and are just plain delicious.

Where do you go to celebrate?

A proper, old school English pub, preferably in the countryside.

Do you have a favourite ‘dish’ somewhere in London?

The bone marrow and anchovy flatbread at Black Axe Mangal. The nutty, buttery nature of the bone marrow with that salty anchovy kick, all topped off with pickled red onion salad really makes for a mouth-wateringly good dish.

Can you recommend us a hidden gem that we might not know about?

The Red Lion and Sun in Highgate. It has a great beer garden where Sandia and I can hang out with our dog, Paxo.

What’s your favourite international restaurant?

The best meal I’ve ever had was at Alinea in Chicago, about 8 years ago. We had 34 courses, and it was the first time I’d experienced really experimental cooking. There were molecular elements, desserts made on the table in front of you and fantastic ingredients – it was really eye-opening.

Favourite independent Champagne?

A producer that is serious about dedicating himself to making just a few Champagnes but making them really well is Jerome Prevost of La Closerie. Any wines of his, and he only has a couple, is an epiphany wine.

Which chef should we have our eye on right now?

Thomas Keller is a huge inspiration to me because he does everything with so much finesse. Whether he’s working on a brasserie or a 3 Michelin star restaurant, he gives 100% attention to every aspect of his work. It’s so inspiring to watch how he works and he brings out the best in the people he works with.

Bubbledogs will reopen as a Champagne bar on April 30.

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