Top chef and living legend Paul ‘Porky’ Askew lets us into a few kitchen secrets
“If you’re not here to make someone feel a million dollars today, then you’re in the wrong job”, says top Liverpool chef and patron of The Art School on Hope Street. We managed to squeeze in an interview with him in the private dining room before the official lockdown.
The restaurant was looking beautiful. The sun was shining in through the ceiling of the glass atrium, glasses were being polished, tables were being set with expert precision and Mother’s Day menus were hot off the press. Little did we know that very soon all restaurants were about to close temporarily.
But what we do know is that they will reopen. Chefs will turn on their ovens, bar staff will pour our drinks and front of house teams will take our orders. Paul Askew has been in the restaurant business for decades. He’s an ambassador for great British produce and will welcome us all with open arms once The Art School is back in business.
“This is the restaurant I’ve always wanted to open,” he told us. “The one I’ve dreamed about since I was young, washing pots and pans.”
Watch Paul talk us through the range of different menus they offer (“whether you want to spend £25 or £125 and anything in between”), why seasonality is so important to him (“many ingredients come from within a 25 mile radius”) and how they take their cooking seriously at The Art School, but not themselves.
“It’s not about the ego of the chef or the snootiness of the sommelier,” Paul states, “it’s about the people sat on those red chairs.”
We can’t wait until we can be one of them. Enjoy the interview.