5 minutes with… Ollie Templeton

To mark 10 years of culinary excellence, restaurant Carousel is preparing for a year of celebration and chef takeovers

Food and Drink 14 Mar 2024

5 minutes with… Ollie Templeton

Ollie Templetons London restaurant, Carousel, has become a gastronomic haven, and now boasts a decade of culinary innovation. Catalysing his journey from Spain to the UK, Templetons venture features a wine bar with a rotating menu, showcasing both his expertise (he has 300 chef residencies under his belt) and a diverse array of guest chefs.  

Carousel is poised for a spectacular 10th-anniversary celebration, promising a year filled with renowned chefs, global bar takeovers and an expanded wine programme – a testament to its decade of culinary excellence.  

Brummell caught up with Templeton to discuss how the restaurant has grown and evolved over the years.

What can diners expect from Carousel?

They can expect to be surprised, whether having a glass of wine and some tasty snacks in the wine bar, or booking into one of the many residencies we have going on throughout the year – were always looking for ways to keep things fresh within our restaurant scene.

Ollie Templeton
Ollie Templeton

What inspired you to set up Carousel?

We were inspired by the idea of continual collaboration, bringing like-minded people together and putting on amazing experiences.

You are celebrating 10 years of Carousel this year. Congratulations! How has the restaurant grown over this time?

Thanks! I mean, it has grown a lot. Its now two restaurants, so we are currently running both of them under one roof. I think mainly we have grown in confidence – we take more risks and look further afield to bring in memorable food experiences via our residency programme. The team has grown so much, and we have had the privilege of working with amazing people along the way. 

What are your plans to celebrate this momentous occasion?

Plans are still in the works, but we want to bring back familiar faces and friends who we have shared great times with in the kitchen over the years. Of course, there will be a big party, but the plan is also to schedule lots of fun celebrations and collaborations throughout the year to mark the occasion. 

What is it that you love so much about working with other chefs?

I love the community that we have built, it really does feel like weve gained friends all over the world from what we have done. Also, the fact that we expose our team and our guests to different styles of not only cooking but also approaching food is such an exciting thing to offer. Its not all about the different dishes and recipes that come through the kitchen here, its about learning different ways of thinking about food, drinks and service, and being inspired so much that it leaves a lasting impression.

You currently head up the kitchen at the wine bar, often using ingredients that are left over from the residency chef menus. Has this ever inspired you to become more creative with the small plates you serve?

The wine bar definitely benefits from a few nice bits left over from the residency kitchen, but thats just one small part of a bigger picture. We do plan specials to go up on the board that help us minimise our waste and maximise our creativity (sometimes we have a surplus of some really unique or unusual ingredient that finds its way to the specials board), but the rest of the menu that we serve is independent of what’s going on with our resident chefs.

What do you think of the London cocktail bar and restaurant scene?

I think its one of the best there is. My only criticism is that too many cocktail bars close at midnight, but there are a few that stay open late enough for us to make it there after work. In terms of food, its incredible.

Who is your role model and how have they influenced your work?

Tough question. The truth is I dont have just one role model. A lot of my work has been influenced by many role models throughout the Carousel journey. A few names spring to mind… Carl Ishizaki for ultra laid-back vibes yet astonishing food, and Sam Buckley for his thoughtful approach to cooking and ingredients. 

What is one ingredient you cannot live without?

Olive oil, maybe obvious but its just the truth.

Whats next for Ollie Templeton?

Definitely to open more places, whether Carousels or new concepts in London (but not exclusively), and to finally retire somewhere near a beach… thats a while away though.