The secret food hideouts of top chefs

We got it out of them

We asked these culinary masters for the tucked-away London restaurants they head to for a proper feast

A composite of Raymond Blanc, a steak and a glass of red wine

Raymond Blanc

The genial French master, with his made-for-BBC Two smile and huge list of protege chefs, likes a bit of Hardy’s Brasserie in Marylebone. “All the produce is carefully selected from the freshest local market,” Raymond told us. “You will enjoy the season’s first grouse, first asparagus and freshly podded baby peas. But what I love most is the space: it has huge soul and authenticity, a combination of France in the 19th and 20th century and modern Britain.”

A composite of chef Jose Pizarro and battered fish and chips

Jose Pizarro

On the one hand, a cultured owner of much-loved tapas joints that bear his name. On the other, a crazy sauce maniac. “I like chips with my special dipping sauce: ketchup, mustard and mayonnaise, all swirled together,” he says. And where to find the chips worthy of this gruel? “Long Lane Fish Bar, near London Bridge. Mega fresh, perfectly battered fish, and they triple-fry the chips just for me.”

The secret food hideouts of top chefs

Thomasina Miers

Ah, Wahaca. The jolly green giant, as welcoming as your grandmother’s arms. Perfect for all occasions. But from time to time you’ll find Thomasina, Wahaca’s founder, at Kensington’s Snaps & Rye. “It’s a brilliant Scandinavian restaurant that home-cures fish and meats and has one of the best kedgerees I’ve had,” she says. “It also sells brilliant ingredients for cooking, like a liquorice syrup that makes delicious ice cream.”

The secret food hideouts of top chefs 1

Gizzi Erskine

When the food polymath talks, you gotta listen. And these are her words: “I love Brawn on Columbia Road in Hackney. It’s actually verging on an addiction. I can’t go in there without ordering at least one plate of the green peppers with anchovies, and one of my all-time fave dishes is the duck hearts, especially when they come with Romanesco. The food [Mediterranean tapas] is never fussy but always delicious.”

The secret food hideouts of top chefs 2

Selin Kiazim

Not one but two favourites for the chef director of Oklava, the ace Cypriot spot in Shoreditch. You can keep your rules, because she don’t play by ’em. “The grilled lamb ribs from Wood Oven in South Woodford are so good – fatty, salty, moreish,” she says. “For Indian, The Coriander in Buckhurst Hill does spiced marinated lamb chops to die for.”

Raymond, Thomasina and Gizzi will be appearing at The Big Feastival, supported by NEFF, in the Cotswolds between August 26-28

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