An interview with Darren Jikiemi, Head Chef
Hello Darren. Can you start by telling us what you had for lunch today?
Today I had a club sandwich with extra chicken and mayonnaise on the side
Nice, we’re jealous.
Come in and have one!
Tell us about your job role. How long you’ve been working at Dolphin Square?
I’m the Head Chef at Dolphin Bar and Grill. I’ve been here since May 2010 and my job is to oversee every food product that leaves this building
Would you say that food is your passion?
Food is absolutely everything to me. It keeps me awake at night. I’m an expert in my field and I want to learn more. Food is exactly why I’m here and why I get out of bed everyday.
Why did you decide to join Dolphin Bar and Grill?
Every chef will tell you that their dream is to have their own menu. If you can get an existing restaurant and make your mark on it, it’s almost like a blank canvas and that’s exactly what I saw here so I jumped at the chance.
What we’ve done in 2011 / 2012 is find an identity – gastro type pub food with a fine dining edge and now, in 2013 we are going to expand that.
Can you describe Dolphin Bar and Grill to someone who has never heard of it?
Because the name is ‘bar and grill’, there is a big emphasis on our fresh meat and grilled items – we have a volcanic rock char grill in the kitchen and we are cooking the finest meat sourced locally from Allen’s of Mayfair, from local farms within the M25.
We also have a full breakfast menu which includes English and continental and other a la carte items like waffles with syrup, eggs benedict, fresh porridge with fruit etc.
Do you use locally sourced produce and ingredients?
My ethos of cooking is that local is best, support the area that you are in. I go to various farmers’ markets. All our fruit and vegetables are sourced from New Covent Garden Market which is actually in Vauxhall, less than a mile from here.
It’s an integral part of my job sure that what comes in this building is the best that it can be.
How often does the menu change?
In 2013 we plan to move in line with the seasons so four times a year. It gives our customers enough time to enjoy it – hopefully along with the weather.
What would you say is your signature dish?
My signature dish here is the Salmon Paupiette because that is a real fine dining, rosette worthy dish. It looks visually great, it’s a really fresh fish dish and when you open it up you get a surprise with all these wonderful ingredients.
What would you say to people who are looking for somewhere to eat in SW1?
What I would say to those people is come and try us, come and see what we’re about