Five minutes with… Carlo Scotto

The chef-owner at Mayfair’s Xier | XR on mixed martial arts, his love of citrus, and why he’d invite Putin to a dinner party

Food and Drink 22 Nov 2019

Carlo Scotto, chef-owner at Mayfair’s Xier | XR
Red Mullet at Xier
Organic beef fillet at Xier
Rose-cured salmon, foie gras, Figs, hazelnuts, with apple reduction at Xier

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given in your career? 

I was once told to never let my ego run my business, and to leave my ego at the door in everything I do. This has been instrumental in my career, because in hospitality everybody has an opinion. Whether the feedback is good or bad, I remove my ego from the equation, and always take the advice as being constructive.

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

The Galvin brothers, but Jeff Galvin in particular. Working with him closely made me realise that no matter what stage you are in life, you should always be the first in and the last out at work. This made me learn that hard work and dedication are paramount to success, no matter how big you become. Seeing Jeff Galvin in the kitchen every day, and seeing his dedication, is something that will stay with me forever.

What ingredient can you not live without?

Anything citrus – so lime, lemon, yuzu, finger limes, etc. These acidic ingredients are so fresh and delicious, and are essential to balance the flavours in the dishes I create.

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

My phone.

Where is your favourite place to eat in London?

Definitely The Clove Club. I love the creativity and the simplicity. Although the food is simple, the richness and complexity of the flavours are mind-blowing. Every flavour is perfectly balanced and presented immaculately on the plate, and they also support local producers.

What do you like to do on a day off?

Mixed martial arts training.

Apart from food, what are your biggest passions?

Combat sports. I love the competition, the commitment and the discipline, because this also reflects what I do as a chef.

Who would be your ideal dinner party guest and why?

Vladimir Putin. It would be fascinating to pick the brain of someone with such amounts of power, knowledge and responsibility. I wish one day that I could cook for him and talk to him about mixed martial arts.

Xier | XR, 13-14 Thayer Street, W1U 3JR;