Five minutes with… Lee Westcott

The head chef at Pensons at the Netherwood Estate on his role models, his passion for music and dining with a rock legend.

Food and Drink 26 Sep 2019

Lamb and artichoke with sorrel, image courtesy of Patricia Niven
Pigeon at Pensons, image courtesy of Patricia Niven

Who is your role model?

Tom Aikens and Jason Atherton. Both have been role models of mine for different reasons, but ultimately both have taught me a great deal, which has led me to where I am today. 

What ingredient can you not live without?

Vinegar. It adds another dimension to dishes and is a great way to extend the season of a product. We use lots of different ones at Pensons.

What item, apart from your passport, can you not travel without?

Headphones. I couldn’t travel anywhere without them. There isn’t a better way to switch off than listening to music.

Where is your favourite place to eat in London?

At the moment it’s Brat. Simplistic, ingredient-led cooking at its best. 

What do you like to do on a day off?

I always try my best to relax. I’ve recently got into swimming, which is proving to be very beneficial.

Apart from food, what are your biggest passions?

Music. Aside from being in service at work, I’ve constantly got something playing somewhere close to me. For me, music is a big part of my life – not that I can play any instruments or sing, for that matter, but there’s always a time and a place for music.

If you could choose anyone from today or history, who would be your ideal dinner party guest and why?

Jim Morrison. Iconic, hugely talented, deeply flawed and died too young. That makes for interesting dinner party talk.