Chef de Stasio on The Lampery’s new Winter Menu

Any foodie who visits The Lampery is always excited for the changing of the seasons in anticipation of what Michelin-star trained Head Chef Marcello de Stasio will drop next. This season is no exception and our new winter menu is nothing short of spectacular.

This year, the dishes are wildly colourful and vibrant, wholesome and inspiring. We sat down with Chef de Stasio to find out his inspiration behind the new menu and what he’d recommend for a newcomer to The Lampery. Here’s what he had to say:

Head Chef at The Lampery, Marcello de Stasio

Where does the inspiration for the new menu come from?

“The inspiration comes from the seasonality of the ingredients and we’ve tried to work with products as local to the UK as possible. We introduced these incredible Pacific oysters onto the menu which are from Poole Bay in the south of England and the cod is from English waters.

“The inspiration for the menu comes from my Italian background, but we’ve also implemented a slight Asian influence on the menu. It’s mainly about showcasing the quality local ingredients that we’re putting out to our customers.

“There are some classic dishes that we’ve included – some real winter warmers. The guinea fowl is a good example of this – it’s an interesting combination between European and modern British cuisine. In that dish, we’ve got Parmesan polenta, girolle mushrooms and burnt leeks – it’s quite interesting, slightly traditional but draws from new inspirations.”

How long did it take to create the new menu?

“Sometimes when I’m at home or out for dinner I’ll have a light-bulb moment that I think would work well, so I’ll write it down and then experiment with ingredients. In total, it took around three to four weeks to finalise the new dishes – you’ve got to do tastings and try to find the balance of flavours in each dish. It’s a long but rewarding task and I always enjoy it, especially when you see the end product.”

Grilled octopus, sobrasada aioli, smoked paprika, roasted onions (gf) £14

For a Lampery newbie, what would you recommend?

“All of it! But try our most popular starter, which is the grilled octopus dish [above] – everybody has to try this at least once in their lives.

“For a great vegetarian option, we have the beetroot salad. Or for something meaty with a blend of flavours, try the scallops. Here we have the meat from the lardo di Colonnata and the seafood element from the scallops, so this creates a very interesting flavour in the mouth.”

What about the main course?

“We had a journalist visit The Lampery recently who had been looking to eat rabbit for a few years but he said it was very rare to find it in restaurants here, so he was impressed we had it on the menu.

“We included rabbit because it’s a readily available British ingredient and there are lots of different cooking techniques we can use for the dish. It’s a real gastronomic treat.”

What’s your favourite dish on the menu to cook?

“I would say the guinea fowl because it’s slow-cooked first, then it’s pan-seared and there are a lot of techniques we have to use. It’s an intricate dish to create.

“One of my favourite seafood mains is the monk fish. It’s a very soft, melt-in-the-mouth meat and the garnish is quite rich in terms of flavour, with black olives, roasted peppers and basil oil – it’s quite interesting.”

And obviously, we wouldn’t leave without dessert. What’s new here?

“We’ve gone for the traditional apple crumble, but we’ve created our own version and decided to go gluten-free with the crumble so everybody can enjoy this little treat.

“The rum savarin is also very interesting in terms of textures and flavours. It almost dissolves in your mouth. It’s very light as a dessert and there’s a great balance between the rum and sugar, and also the yuzu ganache. You get a great flavour combination and I think it’s one of our best desserts on the menu. But let’s not forget about the pear cheesecake with caramelised pear!”

Drooling? Here are some of the highlights on the Winter Menu…

Scottish scallops, honey glazed pumpkin puree, lardo di Colonnata (gf) – £14

Heritage beetroot salad, goat’s curd, candied walnuts, pickled shallots (v) (gf) – £8

Black olive gnocchi, smoked aubergine puree, confit tomato, pecorino crisp (v) – £18

Rabbit roulade, lentils, root vegetables, jus – £22

Pear cheesecake, honey & lavender ice cream – £22

Naturally, you’ll want to enjoy our beautiful winter dishes in stunning surroundings. Check out our ultra-Instagrammable space, featuring a floral canopy overhead and our new giant television screen on the wall displaying beautiful images of London – it’s also great for when there’s a big sporting event on.

So, are you ready to do winter with us? Find the menu on our website and head over to our Facebook and Instagram pages for inspiration, recipes and much more.