Neil Borthwick was born and raised in Falkirk and started working in the bar of a local hotel at the age of 14. He went to catering college in Glasgow, got his first job in Gordon Ramsay’s Amaryllis. After a 3 year stint at the Connaught (under Angela Hartnett, who later became his wife), he took off to France, initially to the three-star La Maison Pic in Valence to work alongside Anne-Sophie Pic, before heading over to Laguiole, Aveyron, to work for Michel Bras in Laguiole where he was taught the precise, inventive cuisine that has made the 3 star Restaurant Bras into one of the top gastronomic destinations in the world. These 3 years in France informed Neil’s future approach to food and his respect for truly great ingredients. On his return to the UK he set up and ran the kitchen at the Merchants Tavern in Shoreditch (part of Hartnett’s growning group of retaurants) before moving to The French House in Soho earlier this year for a change of pace.
Neil’s passion for fabulous simple food that is full of flavour, is evident from the menu at The French House: rabbit rillettes with pickles; goat’s curd on sourdough toast with confit garlic; a slow-cooked stew of lamb neck, tomatoes and black olives topped with pistou; aligot – potatoes mashed with garlic and tome fraîche cheese; lemon posset with shortbread; stewed apple and quince topped with a thin crunch of crumble served with a jug of home-made custard; or vanilla custard tart….the list goes on.
Join Neil for his first visit to the kitchen as he shows you how to get the most magnificent flavours from wonderful simple ingredients. And look out for a rather special assistant guest chef who will be joining us on the day – his Mrs!