Quick Bite with Jean Delport, Executive Chef at Restaurant Interlude

The Woods Foodservice Quick Bite series is a 10-second download from a top UK chef sharing what’s on their plate.

We speak to Jean Delport, Executive Chef at Leonardslee Gardens Michelin Star establishment, Restaurant Interlude, on winning his first Michelin Star and the rise of refined and simplistic dishes.

What would you say is the most defining moment of your career to date?

I would think my most defining moment to date must have been when we won our first star in the 2020 Michelin Guide. It was always something I looked up to as a young chef, something that we were always working towards. Coming from South Africa, we only ever heard and strived for it, but to be here and get our restaurant in the mix is something truly special.

 

What inspired you to become a chef?

I think it was curiosity more than anything. Messing around in the kitchen and having the responsibility to create a meal was something that made me really think. I probably went into the industry a bit blind, not knowing what it really takes, but loving every bit of it has definitely been a key driving factor.

 

What piece of golden advice would you give to anyone in the industry if they want to be successful?

To make sure that you really love what you are doing is the ultimate key. There is a lot of hard work and sacrifice that is needed to make strides in the industry. You can’t be shy of hard work or long hours; it truly is the love that shines through.

 

Any favourite ingredients at the moment / or any ingredients/trends you think will be big in 2020?

Choosing my favourite ingredients is always a hard one. I’m still in love with birch syrup, something new that we discovered when we moved onto the estate just before the restaurant opened. I think things are definitely still moving to be as refined and simple as possible with clear, clean cut flavours.