If your looking for the best beef in the city, look up Clive Dixon before he leaves town. The British chef who got his Michelin star when he was all of 25, served us a platter of Scottish beef so tender you could cut it with a spoon! “With me, it’s all about produce first, and then the cooking,” says Clive, over a chat at On The Rocks in the Sheraton Park. The international chef is on his second Chennai visit, most of which he admits, is spent organising his top sellers in the kitchen to perfection. He jerks his finger at the staff and jokes, “I want to go out and have a look around, but they just won’t let me!”
It turns out his masterful beef dish comes with a back story. Clive who has worked with several successful restaurants and trained under molecular gastronomy whiz Heston Bluementhal, has finally settled down to managing a restaurant of his own at home in the UK. And his friendship with his butcher goes almost as far back as his career. “It’s difficult to find good vendors, most only care about the sale...” laments the chef. He goes on, “But this one guy came around every day with a blade of beef for me to try for the next week until I did!” Needless to say, he hasn’t made a purchase from anyone else since.
And what is this star chef working on when he’s out of the kitchen? “Actually a recipe book,” responds Clive with a smile. “I call it ‘The Auberge.’” Scheduled to be out in print in a year, the book is planned to have a cocktail of cuisines from across Europe — Spain and France...the UK of course, America and South India! “Yep, I can’t go home without trying those lamb trotters in coconut milk that I had the last time I was here in Dakshin,” Clive says with an air of insistence. “That’s definitely going in the book.”
Chef Clive Dixon will be at On the Rocks, Sheraton Park Hotel till October 27. For dinner reservations, contact 24994101.