One of London’s most talented, innovative and uncompromising chefs is co-hosting another of his #AllGunsBlazing events – two consecutive nights of supper clubs on Wednesday August 31 and Thursday September 1 at the 4th Floor Studios photographic space in east London (50 tickets per night, £107 each). He will be cooking alongside South African chef Ernst van Zyl of The Lord Clyde in Kerridge, the only pub in Cheshire to hold three AA Rosettes.
Ben Spalding (second picture) has been associated with some of the most exciting dining rooms of the 21st century – cooking at Per Se in New York, Vue de Monde in Melbourne and most famously as head chef at Simon Rogan’s pre-Fera Roganic pop-up in Marylebone. He’s known for doing things decidedly his own way: he left John Salt in Islington after a disagreement with the owners, despite garnering rave reviews as head chef. Since then, he has been executive chef at Aqua Shard and focused on his own hugely successful pop-up and consultancy concepts, including #AllGunsBlazing, which launched earlier this year with a menu created in collaboration with chef Paul Foster.
Dinner at #AllGunsBlazing this time around will consist of 14 courses – six by Spalding, six by van Zyl and two created by both chefs working in tandem. There will also be cocktails using offbeat ingredients: cloudberries, feijoa, messmör, sea buckthorn and banana passion fruit.
Spalding sees these events as something that is moving the London dining scene forward in a dynamic, fun way: “Often, but not always, collaboration dinners are wildly overpriced and set in an overly formal environment,” he says. “The #AllGunsBlazing dinners are about a special chef willing to come out of the comfort zone of their kitchen or environment to work with me to provide a great dining experience and introduce their cooking to an audience who are maybe not familiar with their food or restaurant.”