We had an exclusive interview with Jeremy Chan, the owner and chef of Ikoyi, one of London’s most important restaurants with two Michelin stars. In this interview, we talked about many topics, from the start of the world-famous chef’s career to the adventure of falling in love with gastronomy, from the working system he adopted at Ikoyi to the vision behind his menus.

Born in England, Jeremy Chan spent his childhood travelling around Europe, the United States and Hong Kong. Chan learnt to speak six languages fluently in his adolescence and studied Philosophy and Language Theories at Princeton University. After graduating, the chef added Farsi to the list of languages he knew, and started a master’s degree at a renewable energy investment company. However, in 2011, he sipped from the dizzying elixir of gastronomy; he completely abandoned his finance career and turned to professional cuisine. The story that led him to Michelin starts right here.

Jeremy Chan: “Quality is the foundation of what we do at Ikoyi. It is closely linked to having a sense of responsibility and caring for the environment”

“Cooking felt like the one thing I wanted to do with my life. I fell in love with ingredients, understood their properties and realised how to harness flavour while stimulating my own sense of creativity and taste. I started cooking at the age of 26, shortly after university, and haven’t looked back since. I spent a few years working in other kitchens for short periods of time, but it never quite clicked. I read, learnt and practised on my own until I opened Ikoyi.” begins Jeremy Chan, who we asked how he stepped into the gastronomy universe.

Jeremy Chan opens Ikoyi with his partner Ire Hassan-Odukale. Building its spice-based cuisine around British micro-seasonality, Ikoyi works with slow-grown vegetables, sustainably caught fish and aged local beef to ensure the flavour is just right. The kitchen respects the true nature of the ingredients.

So, which points does Chan pay special attention to when creating Ikoyi’s menu? The chef, whom we asked about his focal points and vision on this subject, answers us as follows: “I am inspired by seasonality, spices, mixtures of unusual ingredients and familiar, comforting flavours. I pay the most attention to the quality of raw materials and then to the creative and aesthetic impact of my dishes.”


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