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  • Mise en Place

    Specialist recruiter to the Catering and Hospitality Industry. Our values: Professionalism, Integrity, Flexibility, Partnership

    chef
  • Mise en Place

    Specialist recruiter to the Catering and Hospitality Industry. Our values: Professionalism, Integrity, Flexibility, Partnership

    lady chef
  • Mise en Place

    Specialist recruiter to the Catering and Hospitality Industry. Our values: Professionalism, Integrity, Flexibility, Partnership

    chef, waiter
  • Mise en Place

    Specialist recruiter to the Catering and Hospitality Industry. Our values: Professionalism, Integrity, Flexibility, Partnership

    bar man

Ben Spalding – Eat My Words

This week we catch up with a very talented and extremely hard working young chef, Ben Spalding (@Benspalding1). Ben has put in the hard yards at some of the best kitchens in the world, working under such household names as, Rhodes, Ramsay, Rogan, Keller to name a few! His accumulated experience is evident in the his unique food style and his recent stint as head chef of the London outpost of L’enclume (Roganic) proved. He has now taken a step in a different direction with Stripped Back @ The Broadway Market.. We are very excited to follow Ben’s career here at Mise and hope you enjoy the interview!

So firstly your latest venture is Stripped Back @ The Broadway Market, you are challenging the way people look at affordable street food. What made you decide to go in this direction?

It was discussed with my friend and someone who has been very supportive to my career Nuno Mendes. I need to make a special mention on what a great guy and visionary he is. I rate him very highly. We looked at doing something else together down Dalston way then we spoke about this. We both thought there was a huge potential for it. So I launched it. We are in our eighth week now and it has been a huge success growing every week. We are doing street feast in Dalston on Friday nights and Saturday’s at Broadway Market. I plan to carry it on for good even when John Salt opens. The concept is very strong.

Do you enjoy being right there in front of the customer and interacting with them as you plate up?

Yes very much. It is bloody hard work! All the washing up, cooking, serving, talking, relaying tables. Just 3 of us do that all for some 200-250 servings on a busy day. But very satisfying.

You have worked in amazing kitchens under some of the worlds great chefs (Gary Rhodes, Gordon Ramsay, Simon Rogan, Thomas Keller.. to name a few) does the pressure of the Michelin guide effect the the dynamic of the kitchen?

Maybe in some places. It wouldn’t for me.

It is a matter of life and death for me personally in my brain when sending food that has my name above it. I will not insult my training, my guests or the ingredients by sending food out that is not as good as it could be. I am not letting my life be ruled by a guidebook and the majority of the time an inspector who has a tenth of my knowledge & skill. But I would be a fool to say it doesn’t matter to worry about them because they are a massive thing to get recognised by and can do the business wonders.


The michelin guide doesn’t always get it right. But it is a benchmark. You walk into a 2 rosette kitchen and then a 2* kitchen the difference is huge. The passion, desire, commitment, skill, speed & work ethic is 10 times better.

Which is the last restaurant you visited and what were your thoughts?

The last restaurant I ate in was 28-50 marylebone. Where one of my beat mates Paul Walsh runs the kitchen. He is an unsung hero of the 28-50′s whose cooking is technically perfect. He was my sous chef at Royal Hospital Road and been a close friend. He gave me a very memorable meal recently with very humble food.

Which is your favourite local restaurant?
Haha I live in folkestone. Food isn’t a strong point of the community. Raj bari in Hythe does blinding curry’s.

What annoys you in the hospitality industry at the moment?

Two things;
1. Lazy young cooks & waiters- more so cooks who can namedrop until blue in the face & want the names on their cv’s from working at 1-3* restaurants but buckle under the pressures and last weeks sometimes just days. You will never get anywhere or most importantly the necessary discipline or training needed to cook properly unless you take some crap & work in these not always desirable environments.

2. This craze of opening hipster places that serve pretty mediocre food. What has happened to cooking your heart out? It appears to me it is more important to be somewhere cool rather than somewhere where the cooking is excellent and good value for money.

What personal attributes do you think make a good chef?

For a good chef  too many to list: respect, humilty, integrity, passion, obsession, honesty, discipline, creativity, business sense, people & management skills, competence, drive, grit, relentless determination.
For a great chef double the list.

If you had to give one piece of advice to an up and coming chef, what would it be?

I consider myself an up and coming chef, so let’s say an chef starting out-
Everything in my answers for the last two questions covers it i think

What should a chef working for you, never do?

Lie, and immediately dismissed.
Impossible to work with that kind of person.

Which Chef (Chefs) do you most admire?

So many. But two that stick out Brett Graham I admire immensely, having had the chance to work with him as his development chef for a temporary time recently. His respect, humilty & integrity to his restaurant & staff is astounding. Inspirational. And Grant Achatz for what he had to go through and what he has achieved shows superhuman character. Just incredible.

People always ask chefs what their last meal on earth would be… Instead, if you had to cook one last meal (the last dish ever for your customers!) what would it be and why?

Angus beef ragu with ras el hanout, minted sour cream, blowtorched lettuce & wraps.

A dish I recently cooked at stripped back, my market stall. Fajitas are my favourite thing to eat. Filling, quick and delicious.

Thanks so much Ben.

Posted by Mise En Place Hospitality Recruitment

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