Meet the Chef: Marc Hardiman, Chef Galvin at Home windows, Park Lane, London
With over 10 years experience in senior positions in multi-rosette and Michelin star establishments in the UK and Australia, Marc Hardiman remains committed to delivering culinary experiences of the highest order to his customers while constantly innovating and experimenting, looking for ways to get himself to improve and stay on top tip of his game. Hardiman will be at the forefront of the kitchen overseeing all menu delivery, creative dish development and food innovation.
We caught up with the London chef at Galvin at Windows to learn more about his inspirations, why he enjoys the fast paced life and how you can’t beat Sunday roasts or fish and chips.
Marc’s menus are at the cutting edge of modern cuisine
What or who inspired you to become a chef?
My mom was a huge inspiration to me, she had a natural talent for turning humble ingredients into an incredible dish. When I was young I spent most of the weekends cooking with her in the kitchen and it was her passion that inspired me to become a cook.
I have very fond memories of food growing up. I often went fishing and hunting with my grandpa and then my nan taught me to cook what we caught. It was an amazing experience.
What’s your signature dish?
I don’t really have a typical dish because we always try to change our menu with every new season. Seasonality is important to me, and certain dishes reappear as an evolution of the dish from the previous season.
What are the most important considerations when creating your menu?
Seasonality; Guest experience and consistency. My team also takes my menu into account as I think it’s important to teach new skills and motivate the team with dishes that inspire them too. A happy kitchen means a happy guest.
Seasonality is important when creating a menu
Do your personal preferences affect the menu at all?
Consciously or unconsciously, I influence the menu according to my taste. Of course, I don’t want to serve any guest that I don’t like to eat myself. The overall experience and the needs of the guests always come first.
Do you have a favorite season of the year or a favorite ingredient that you enjoy working with?
I love when spring comes because of all the fresh, vibrant colors and tastes. The lightness of the season comes into its own particularly well after the heavy, bold winter dishes on the plate.
What’s your favorite ingredient?
Seasonality has a huge impact on how I cook, so my preferred ingredients change with the seasons. I love crisp, clear flavors. Right now I can’t get enough of English asparagus and heirloom tomatoes, but as soon as it gets colder I look forward to deeper and stronger flavors and love cooking with game.
Crunchy, clean flavors are a summer delight
What would you do if you weren’t a cook?
As a cook, you work a million miles an hour and it’s all about concentration, dealing with pressure and steering the ship. Working in an environment like this really suits my personality, I’m a total adrenaline junkie. So if I weren’t a cook, I would most likely be a fighter jet pilot.
What do you prefer to cook at home?
My favorite dish to cook at home is always smoked haddock risotto and poached eggs – simple but massive flavors. I like to cook simple but calming dishes at home. When we have guests, I’ll try crowd-pleasers like Beef Wellington or twice-baked soufflé.
When are you happiest?
I love hospitality and love taking care of people, so I’m happiest when I’m in the middle of a busy church service sending out stunning plates of food, surrounded by my team: it’s like an orchestra and I’m a conductor .
Marc likes to create beautifully presented dishes
If you’re not in the kitchen, where can you be found?
Walking my dog along the promenade on Brighton Beach, he loves it there! On my days off, I really enjoy being in nature, be it in the country or on the beach. I need a balance – from a busy kitchen to serenity.
What’s your favorite takeaway or convenience food?
It’s always fish and chips when I’m on the coast, but on a Sunday you can’t beat a great British Sunday roast with real gravy.
Where do you like to eat best?
Gambas in Bristol (my hometown) – whenever I visit I always go there. The service is relaxed, the menu changes regularly and I love the fresh and simple cuisine that never disappoints.
Address: 22 Park Ln, London W1K 1BE