Chef of Chef Works: LASZLO NAGY March 2022
Chef: Laszlo Nagy
Location: Chester, UK.
Social Media: @laszlo_nagy001 / @hypha.chester (Instagram)
This month we feature Laszlo Nagy, Head Chef at the Green Michelin Star restaurant, Hypha in Chester where he leads a team dedicated to showcasing the finest produce from their growers and foragers on their ever changing seasonal tasting menus…
1. Your restaurant/role:
My role as Head Chef at Hypha is to make sure the kitchen runs smoothly on a daily basis, there’s never a quiet moment. From planning the menu to keeping regular contact with our wonderful suppliers and developing new dishes that are unique and innovative for our customers to taste.
2. Describe your kitchen:
Hypha is a Green Michelin Star award winning plant-based fine dining restaurant, situated on the city walls in Chester. We offer a delicious 12 course tasting menu for customers Wednesday to Saturday. We are all super proud to showcase the best available local produce in Chester and the surrounding area.
The contemporary, cool and comfortable interior at Hypha, Chester.
3. What do you love most about working at Hypha?
The freedom – we are absolutely free to create whatever we can imagine… the sky’s the limit.
4. Where does your passion for cooking come from?
My Great-Grandma as I spent loads of time with her when I was a kid and she always cooked. She showed me the basics and how to respect ingredients and the food we eat.
5. What do you enjoy most about being a Chef?
The opportunity to cook my best food for customers and those I love.
6. Why is sustainability in the kitchen important to you?
Because this is the future, without sustainability the hospitality industry will not survive. I hate food wastage and finding new ways to be sustainable including through the uniform we choose to wear is so important.
7. Favourite Chef Works item and why?
The fact that the sustainable uniform is made from recycled plastic bottles, instead of polluting the environment with wasted plastic and other materials. Chef Works have created something very special and useful for our hospitality industry.
Chef Laszlo in Cannes Sustainable Chef Coat and sustainable English Chef Apron at Hypha, Chester.
8. Your favourite kitchen item and why?
It has to be my trusted oven, without which there isn't a lot I can do!
9. What food trends inspire you at the present?
I love the minimalistic style of less ingredients on the plate, but cooked to absolute perfection!
10. Your awards/career highlights to date:
My career highlight has to be Hypha, we were overjoyed to have recently retained our Green Michelin Star for 2022, this is a great testament to the team. I feel we are creating something very unique at our restaurant and can’t wait for the future with this team.
11. Favourite cook book:
The Noma Fermentation Guide is my favourite. Simple reason is that we are all about preservation at Hypha and this book really helps, it's a must-have for us.
Fresh baked delicious bread at Hypha, Chester.
12. What is your favourite time of year for food and why?
Winter without doubt! I love those deep, earthy flavours.
13. Your signature dish:
Brined giant Shiitake grilled on charcoal, on an apple and kohlrabi remoulade beautifully finished with a vegetable jus. I love the deep Umami flavour from the mushroom and the acidity from the remoulade. The jus is the perfect finish.
14. Favourite ingredient:
I'd have to say, Mung beans.
15. Your go-to wine:
I’m not a big wine fan, but if I have to choose, I’d say a light dry white wine.
16. Who would you most like to cook for?
This would have to be my Great Grandma, to show her how far I have come and what we do at Hypha each and every day.
17. If you had to pick one cuisine to eat… which would it be?
This one is easy, definitely Italian. What’s not to love? Pasta, pizza and everything in between, such delicious variety.
18. Your favourite family recipe?
Probably Gulyás (Goulash).
19. If you could choose any city to cook in, which would it be?
Copenhagen, it’s one of my favourite places without doubt.
20. And finally, your all-time best culinary tip:
Keep it simple and season it well!
Photography: David Lindsay.