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An Exclusive Interview With Angela Hartnett

Thu 26 Mar 2015


She was awarded her first Michelin star in 2004 and in 2007 was awarded an MBE for her services to the hospitality industry. Angela Harnett is Chef Patron and owner of acclaimed Mayfair restaurant, Murano, and has partnered with Smart Hospitality since 2010.

We are delighted to announce that Royal Ascot has once again commissioned the design of bespoke menus for the Winning Post Gardens 2015. Created by Angela, the delicious range of hamper buffets are the perfect complement for the world’s finest racing. These hampers and boards are exclusive to the Winning Post Gardens at Royal Ascot and have been designed especially to complement the size and style of the pavilions.


What are your favourite dishes on the Ascot menu and where did you find inspiration for the menus?​

Roasted sirloin beef, rocket and parmesan. This would be my favourite, great quality beef is essential and the best Italian parmesan. I’d always dress this with a quality balsamic.

Does cooking still feel like a pleasure for you? And has what you first loved about cooking changed over the years?

If it didn’t, I wouldn’t do it anymore. My taste has changed a little but has always been about great flavour and using ingredients that are in season.

What's your kitchen like at home? Is it organised like your professional kitchen or completely different?

Its totally different to the kitchens, its just like the kitchen I grew up in, a lovely feel, not that I spend much time there!

What's the atmosphere like when you're cooking at home - do you tend to have music on or watch TV?

If so what do you watch and listen to? – sometimes the radio but mostly its time to chat and catch up with each other, along with a good strong Italian red wine.

What was the first meal you learned to cook and do you still cook it today? 

We serve a version of the Tortelli that my grandmother taught me in Murano or maybe a Ravioli.

Do you cook with your nieces and nephews? What meals have you taught them?

My brother is a great cook, he teaches us all! They do like cinnamon buns though.

Do you get much chance to see Arsenal play? Who's your favourite player (past or present)?

I’d love to go more but its all so busy right now. My all time greatest player has always been Thierry Henry but if I had to say someone today, it would be Aaron Ramsey. A good Welsh lad!

What question are you always asked? 

Has to be something about being a female chef in a male dominated world. I’m always asked that and don’t think it’s the case anymore anyway.

What drives you to succeed?

Producing great dishes that people love to eat and doing great ingredients justice. I’ve not set a target of 20 michelin stars or anything, things just snowball and you have to decide to just go with them or not.

Fact checking: How old are you and Do you still live in London?

I still live in East London and love it. My birthday is the 5th of September and I’m not telling you how old I am!



Lucky for you, Angela's given us a recipe for these DELIGHTFUL Thai fishcakes which make an ideal and quick supper. Go on, give it a try:



Thai fish cakes – serves 4


500g white flsh, such as cod, ling or pollock

1 tbsp Thai fish sauce

1 tbsp red curry paste

2 tbsp chopped coriander

2 spring onions, flnely sliced

pinch of dried chilli

juice and zest of 1 lime

2 tbsp plain flour, for dusting

sunflower or groundnut oil, for shallowftying

1 bunch of watercress


For the honey dip

2 tbsp honey

1 tbsp vinegar

1 small onion, finely chopped

2 tbsp tomato ketchup

1 tbsp chopped mint and coriander



First make the dip. Put the honey in a small pan with the vinegar, onion and ketchup. Bring to the boil, then remove from the heat and leave to cool. Add the chopped herbs.

Put all the ingredients for the fish cakes, except the oil, flour and watercress, in a food processor and blitz together.

Shape the mixture into small flsh cakes and dust in flour. Preheat the oven to 180'C/Fan 160.C/Gas mark 4.

Heat the oil in a pan and shallow-fry the fish cakes until golden brown. Transfer them to a baking sheet and put them into the preheated oven for 5 minutes to heat through.

Serve with the honey dip and some watercress.

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