The culinary roots of Sylvain Roucayrol | Head Chef at Henrietta Bistro, London
Sylvain Roucayrol is Head Chef at the 80-cover Henrietta Bistro at London’s boutique townhouse, the Henrietta Hotel. The hotel, located in Covent Garden, is by renowned hospitality team, the Experimental Group.
Sylvain’s menu at Henrietta Bistro is inspired by southwest France, the Basque country and the Catalunyan region of northern Spain, reaching across to Corsica. He cooks regional classics as well as modern adaptations, all with plenty of flavour, colour and personality.
He was previously at sister site Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels and Bar Boulud. We chat to him about his culinary roots and what it takes to be a successful chef.
Five question for Sylvain Roucayrol | Head Chef at Henrietta Bistro
Chef Sylvain, you were born in Perpignan and you cook food from southwest France and the Basque Country – you must feel a strong connection to your homeland. What makes the food of this region special?
It feels very special to be able to cook and showcase the produce from my region. We’re able to work with ingredients from small producers who are really passionate about their work. It’s important to understand the ingredients and their origins. It’s a special place because it is very seasonal – the fish, the pigs, charcuterie, olive oil are all especially amazing!
What would you say is the stand-out dish on Henrietta Bistro’s menu, and why?
People love the Galician Octopus with feta yoghurt. The octopus is cooked very slowly and then grilled in the Josper Charcoal oven so that it is crispy on the outside and tender within.
If there’s one ingredient you couldn’t cook without, what would it be?
Olive oil, without hesitation. We use a lot of olive oil here at Henrietta Bistro.
What was your experience like cooking at world-famous Bar Boulud?
Working for Daniel Boulud was a great experience. To have this connection with New York and London was incredible. Daniel never stops and always wants to improve – that was one of the most important things I learned from him.
What’s the one thing that you have learned while being a chef that has surprised you the most?
I think the difference between the chefs with passion and the chefs without. If you don’t have the passion. you don’t last in this industry.
Thank you, Chef Sylvain, and we wish you continuing success at Henrietta.
You also might like to see this delicious recipe from Sylvain Roucayrol:
➔ Grilled octopus with lemon garlic and olive oil
Are you also a passionate Chef? Join the network.
➔ Sign up for free