This week we would like to introduce you to our wonderful Head Chef, Paulo Ferreira. He talks about what he loves most about his job, his favourite dishes and flavours and hot food trends for this year.
How long have you been at No.4 Hamilton Place?
I have been at No.4 as Head Chef since August 2015 so it is my year anniversary this month!
What makes you good at your job?
The ability to multi-task, manage a team and my huge passion for flavoursome food. As Head Chef I love to work in partnership with clients to create bespoke menus that suit them and their guests that have a wonderful blend of exciting flavours, textures and colours. Presentation is very important but flavours are what leaves a lasting impression.
I think my Brazilian background also helps as I am from Salvador de Bahia, which is famous for its Carnival and mix of cultures; African, Portuguese and Indian so I have always brought a variety of cultural influences to my cooking and never shy away from adding new flavours and cooking dishes from all over the world. Also experience as having been Head Chef in other places means I know what is required to run a really successful kitchen.
What do you love most about your job?
Every day is different. One day I am creating a World Foods BBQ menu to go with cool summer cocktails and the next a selection of seasonal canapés that look and taste amazing. I thoroughly enjoy creating food that people love to eat and never stop trying new flavour combinations.
What’s the best event you’ve ever worked on?
There was a really exciting event last year at No.4 Hamilton Place for a Chinese client. They wanted to present the food in different style and seized boxes and let me have complete freedom in creating wonderful, flavoursome food as well as creating new desserts specially for the event.
What’s the most challenging thing about your job?
As Head Chef it would have to be running numerous events at the same time. At No.4 Hamilton Place there is a choice of rooms for clients so we could have an evening lecture with a standing buffet in the Bill Boeing Suite for 100, a summer BBQ in the Argyll Room & Terrace for 150 and a three-course dinner and drinks in the Handley Page and Sopwith for 40, all going on at the same time.
So it is essential to have all of the preparation done well in advance and work with the venue team to know each event’s timings to ensure everyone gets their food at the right time and it is perfect. It is especially difficult if you have 3 events running at the same time for more than one day but it is those weeks that are very exciting too.
What’s your favourite dish on the current menu – main and dessert?
It is so difficult to choose but probably the Moroccan lamb, as I love working with so many spices to make a dish special. I am really enjoying making the custard tarts we have on the menu with different seasonal berries to give that sweetness with a touch of sharpness from the fruit.
What do you despair of being served at events?
Flavourless food that has a bad consistency/texture. It is scary how many times I have been served ‘rubber chicken’ where it has no taste and a horrible texture. I do not understand how people manage it.
What’s your tip off for a hot food trend this year?
The jackfruit, also known as jack tree, jakfruit, or sometimes simply jack or jak, is a species of tree in the mulberry and Breadfruit family. It is native to parts of South and Southeast Asia and is believed to have originated in the southwestern rain forests of the Western Ghats in the Indian Subcontinent, in present-day Kerala, West Bengal, coastal Karnataka, and Maharashtra, but also Indonesia. The jackfruit is composed of hundreds to thousands of individual flowers, and it is the fleshy petals that are eaten. Jackfruit is also found extensively in the Bahia state in Brazil, I imagine it was imported by the Portuguese.
Exotic fruits have been very popular this summer and work wonderfully on the BBQ. With our World Food BBQs menu having been a real success we would like to continue to develop the flavours and continents available for 2017 and beyond.
Your event at No.4 Hamilton Place
Whatever you want to serve at your event we can help create a bespoke menu to suit your guests. Give our Venue Team a call on 44(0)20 7670 4314 or email to talk through your plans and we will get Paulo to come out with an exciting new menu to please all of your guests.