Hotel Chef Josh Emett
Gordon Ramsay at The London | New York
In the autumn of 2006 Josh Emett decided to make the move across the Atlantic, relocating from the UK to New York, where he is now chef de cuisine of The London hotel, overseeing room service, The London Bar, the newly established casual-fare restaurant, maze, and Gordon Ramsay at The London fine dining restaurant. He delivers three distinct but equally exceptional dining experiences, all while managing the duties of a 400+ room hotel.
Brought up on a farm in Hamilton, a remote region of New Zealand, Emett discovered his passion for cooking as a child. His family spent much of their time working on the farm so he began cooking out of necessity. Prior to his position in New York, Josh trained at Waikato polytechnic in Hamilton, then worked at several restaurants including Waipa Delta, Cin Cin on Quay in Auckland and Est Est Est in Melbourne, Australia. In 2000 Josh joined the 3 Michelin starred Restaurant Gordon Ramsay in Chelsea as senior chef de partie before joining the team at Gordon Ramsay at Claridge's under head chef Mark Sargeant.
Josh’s passion for combining only the best ingredients and accomplished technique led him to join chef patron Marcus Wareing as head chef at the reopened The Savoy Grill in 2003. In January 2004 Josh and Marcus’ efforts were rewarded when The Savoy Grill won its first Michelin star. This was followed by the launch of Banquette, the new upstairs restaurant over The Savoy Grill, with a unique take on the American diner, perfect for a less formal, all day dining experience.
Outside the kitchen, Josh is an avid sportsman. Like Ramsay, he believes physical fitness directly contributes to his performance in the kitchen. He credits running and regular tennis matches with Gordon Ramsay at The London restaurant director, Jean-Baptiste Requien, for keeping him in shape.
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Antoinette Bruno: What inspired you to start cooking professionally?
Josh Emett: I started cooking at a young age. I lived on a farm, left school, went straight into catering college, and began cooking.
AB: What advice would you offer young chefs just getting started?
JE: Get into a good kitchen early. You need to be in a good working environment with a good chef with a great reputation because that’s where the majority of your learning comes from. Keep your head down.
AB: What question gives you the most insight to a cook when you’re interviewing them for a position in your kitchen?
JE: “How long do you intend to work for us?” I want an honest answer, and we expect a minimum of a year out of someone.
AB: What are your favorite flavor combinations?
JE: I like earthy flavors – Jerusulam artichokes with rabbit; scallop and cauliflower.
AB: What is your most indispensable kitchen tool?
JE: A mandoline – I love the versatility and how precise it is. But I hate to cut myself with it – it can remove one's finger quite easily
AB: Where do you like to eat around the city?
JE: I like Tia Pol for tapas, Public, and Ed's Lobster Bar – I love the crab and artichoke dip, and the great fish and lobster.
AB: How would you describe your philosophy on food and dining?
JE: A dining experience should be relaxing and enjoyable. I try to cook with a lot of balance and a clean finish, so diners go out of the restaurant content but not overly full. Also, you shouldn’t have to think about things too much as a diner.
AB: What ingredient that you like do you feel is underappreciated or underutilized?
JE: Rabbit, sweetbreads, and pigeon. I like things like that are gamey.
AB: What chef would you want to cook for you? Who would you like to cook for?
JE: I’d like Michel Bras to cook for me. He's got amazing balance and finesse in his cooking. I'd love to cook for most chefs in the world, and have cooked for many. I’d like to cook for Joel Robuchon.
AB: How are you involved in your culinary community?
JE: I've always been extremely involved and it starts within my kitchen. I take a lot of pride training those that come into my kitchen. Training is a huge part of it. When you move on from us you move on with knowledge. We do some charity work, and we have relationships with culinary schools and have done a few classes inside our kitchen.
AB: What’s next for you?
JE: Right now I'm overseeing Gordon Ramsay in LA as well. I spent a long time opening and developing the kitchen. It could take me anywhere – I’ve got a few different things that I'm working on. I would like to have my own name on my own establishment but doing it the way I want to do it – the right area, the right way. For me it's about finding the place I want to settle and invest in. New York could be that place.
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