Five minutes with… Lello Favuzzi

Mortimer House Kitchen's head chef talks to Brummell about working out, his love of aubergines, and staying modest in the face of success

Food and Drink 1 Apr 2019

Mortimer House Kitchen head chef Lello Favuzzi
Lello working his magic in the open kitchen at Mortimer House Kitchen

What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given in your career and why?
That it would be a tough and long journey… and to remain humble along the way. It is a tough journey but I am completely enjoying myself so it’s all worth it. For me, humility is the most important part of the job; first you learn how to cook from scratch and only then can you develop your style. These days it can be very easy for younger, new recruits to lose their way because we are intoxicated by a need to be “something” before we are ready, an idea that is exacerbated on social media. I still believe in training and rules over instant gratification. In this job it’s so important to stay humble and gain as much experience as possible – as chefs we are always learning.

Who is your role model and how have they influenced you in your work?
Franco Alba, my first teacher and chef. He introduced me to a world that was very new and unknown to me at the time. I will be forever thankful for everything he taught me.

What ingredient can you not live without and why?
Aubergine – it’s such a simple ingredient and you can cook it in so many different ways. I just love aubergine! Most likely thanks to my southern Italian roots.

What item, apart from your passport, can you not travel without?
My Adidas trainers, I love to work out wherever I am.

Where is your favourite place to eat in London?
The Barbary in Covent Garden nails the concept of being contemporary and modern while retaining an element of local authenticity with its recipes and flavours. It brings to life such an enthusiastic approach to sharing, flavour and atmosphere.

What do you like to do on a day off?
I enjoy working out and cycling around the city and, of course, I like going out and exploring new restaurants in London.

Apart from food, what are your biggest passions?

If you could choose anyone from today or history, who would be your ideal dinner party guest and why?
Sophia Loren – she was my favourite actress when I was young and she has a big passion for food!

Read Brummell’s review of Lello Favuzzi’s new menu at Mortimer House Kitchen here. Mortimer House Kitchen, 37-41 Mortimer Street, Fitzrovia, London W1T 3JH;