You might not have heard of Arnaud Stevens before, but you’d better get used to the name. Stevens‘ biog reads like a Who’s Who of influential London chefs: he’s worked with Pierre Koffmann at La Tante Claire, Gary Rhodes at City Rhodes, Jason Atherton at Maze Grill and Richard Corrigan at St Mary Axe at The Gherkin.
It’s fair to say he’s packed a lot into his thirty-four years – so how come we’re only finding out about him now?
Stevens has spent the past few years working away from the public and critical spotlight, for the high-end contract caterer Searcys; cooking first at the Royal Opera House and then as Executive Chef at the restaurant in the Gherkin. He’s now, in partnership with the company and recently launched his own restaurant, Sixtyone in Marble Arch – it seems becoming a chef patron couldn’t happen soon enough. “It was a bit frustrating that the Gherkin was shut to the public,” he says. “I think it was a bit of a strain for my staff and me, but I used that time to ready for this.”
His excitement to be ‘out there’, cooking for the public again is tangible. “It’s amazing. It’s the best set-up I’ve ever had and the best team, front and back. Almost every chef I’ve had working for me before has followed me – they know me inside out. There’s real consistency, which is what I want.”
Working alongside the chef is his long-time protégé, Killian Lynch, who is considered to be a crucial part of the operation. “Killian holds the fort, he’s absolutely great and I can trust him one hundred per cent.”