Chef of Chef Works: Exose Grant SEPTEMBER 2022
Chef: Exose Grant.
Restaurant/Kitchen: BLVD Manchester.
Location: Spinningfields, Manchester, UK.
Social Media: @chef_exose @blvdmcr
This month we’re delighted to introduce the hugely talented, Chef Exose Grant. A proud Chef Works wearer, Exose has taken the reins of BLVD Manchester. A combination of urban New York and Los Angeles luxury fine dining, with a chic cocktail lounge to create a super-lux experience for guests. Located in the heart of the city, the plush bar is known for its incredible energy and live entertainment. With Chef Exose now running the kitchen, their dining offer is moving to a new level. Get to know our September Chef of Chef Works here…
1. Your restaurant/role:
Executive Chef at BLVD Manchester located in the heart of Spinningfields.
2. Describe your kitchen:
Our busy kitchen is filled with a team of passionate chefs, dedicated to creating beautiful bold, Pan-Asian à la carte tapas. Not to mention our mouth-watering nibbles, sushi plates, bao buns and tacos for the bottomless brunch weekend menu. We believe this flavoursome tapas menu makes BLVD Manchester the go-to dining destination for friends and families. Then by night, the beautiful interior evolves into a late-night bar/club.
Bottomless brunch at BLVD Manchester.
3. Favourite Chef Works item and why?
Their extensive chef coat collection is my go-to choice of hospitality uniform. I’ve worn Chef Works coats for a number of years, and most recently visited their incredible showroom in London. I love their bold, stand-out styles, as this fits in with my style of cooking. If I had to choose, it would have to be my Cannes Chef Coat, which I have in both black and white (also comes in sustainable version too, which I think is an exciting, very important area for wearers to discover).
4. What was your first job?
How could I forget working in a sandwich shop, creating and serving sandwiches for the public. A staple food choice that us Brits absolutely love!
5. Favourite cookbook and why? (we love recommendations)!
This may seem controversial, but I actually haven’t used a cookbook yet. Of course there are many incredible books out there, but for me, I like to look online for recipes.
6. Your awards/career highlights to date?
Competing in MasterChef: The Professionals 2019 and reaching the finals. This was an incredible, enriching experience for so many reasons… one that I will never forget! I can’t wait for what lies ahead.
Three Times Glazed Fried Chicken Bao Buns.
7. Your cooking inspiration and why?
It started with my love for eating amazing food and studying hospitality and catering during my school years. It quickly became a passion of mine, which inspired me to pursue a long-term career in cooking. I’m so happy and grateful I pushed this passion and I’ve never looked back since.
8. Your speciality dish and what makes it so special (we love tasting notes)?
Choosing one is tough! If I had to pick, it would be my ‘Chicken 5 Ways’. I loved creating this dish in my invention test round on MasterChef: The Professionals. The pressure was on and I had to create a dish from the ingredients placed in front of me, using my culinary skills to make something on the spot. This was definitely a proud moment and got me through to the next round! Safe to say, my Chicken 5 Ways is a stand-out dish to me, as it’s full of flavour and holds a special place in my heart. Since then I used this dish at various supper clubs and is currently on my Private Dining Menu for Exose At Home.
9. Favourite go-to dish to eat and why?
With so much choice and constant ideas in my mind, it’s hard to pick one, but I do love the whole BBQ scene. You can’t beat the simplicity of fresh, flavoursome food cooked over coal, bringing everyone together in a relaxed setting.
The stunning interior at BLVD Manchester.
10. Weirdest thing you ever ate?
Caterpillars – definitely not an ingredient I plan to ever use in the future!
11. Favourite ice cream flavour and what do you pair it with?
Home-made Banoffee ice-cream, which pairs perfectly with beignets and caramel.
12. Favourite family recipe?
My favourite family recipe is a beautiful African dish. Rice with a Cassava leaf stew, which can be served with meat or fish.
13. Favourite wine – if you could only pick one which would it be?
Muscador Rosé, it’s absolutely delicious and sweet, pairing with pretty much anything and if all else fails, makes a refreshing drink on its own.
Chef Exose at home in his kitchen at BLVD.
14. Who would you most like to cook for and what would you cook for them?
I would most like to cook for Chef Michel Roux Jr. He’s been an inspiration of mine for as long as I can remember. A genuine person – I would love to know what he thinks of my food. An incredible chef.
15. And who would you least like to cook for?
Whilst I’m a big fan of his and have watched all of his hit shows, I would definitely be nervous/scared to cook for Chef Gordon Ramsay.
16. Favourite things to do when not cooking:
Honestly, I keep things simple spending quality time with my family and friends.
17. Your latest project at BLVD?
BLVD is historically known for its incredible drinks and night-club scene. For the kitchen, I can’t wait to enhance its culinary offering, making it the go-to dining destination in the heart of Manchester. With the festive season coming up we’ve got lots of exciting dishes for guests to indulge in.
18. Favourite city, what makes it so special to you?
There’s so much of the world I’m yet to discover, so for now a favourite city would be hard to choose. Travelling does give me lots of cooking inspiration though – I love discovering new flavours and ingredients that we tend not to use here at home in the UK.
19. Your greatest indulgence?
I love a Bakewell Tart… (who doesn’t?!) This is one of my favourite treats, simple and utterly delicious.
20. And finally, your all-time best culinary tip:
You’ve got to keep learning. There are always new innovations constantly entering the culinary world. It’s our job to learn, perfect and experience for ourselves. Having passion when cooking is key, don’t ever lose it!
Photography: David Lindsay.