London’s grey and rainy weather left us yearning for a hearty meal. I was on a family trip, and I knew exactly where I wanted to take my parents.
Walking through Clerkenwell, we arrived at St. John Restaurant. Ever since I read of Fergus Henderson’s “Nose to Tail” approach to cooking, I dreamt of eating at his flagship restaurant.
Henderson’s “Nose to Tail” philosophy involves cooking with as much of an animal that can be utilized. That prevents waste, ultimately showing respect for the animal, and it results in some very tasty meals using offal and cuts of meat that aren’t commonly used. Many of Henderson’s recipes are prepared using slower cooking methods. (His philosophy of cooking is something that I would think many Spaniards could relate to, actually.)
St. John Restaurant is a special place. Upon entering, the hustle and bustle of London fades away. The décor of the restaurant is simple. Elaborate paintings or table settings are not used, so as to not distract diners from the two most important elements of enjoying a meal- who you are dining with and what you are eating!
When we stepped into the dining room, I gasped. Fergus Henderson himself wearing his distinctive round glasses was at a table, having lunch with Trevor Gulliver, the restaurateur behind St. John Restaurant. I was positively star-struck, but both of them were friendly, taking photos with us, and talking eagerly about food and restaurants. We spoke for half an hour.
After talking with both of them, my parents and I then sat down to one of the best meals we’ve ever had. Scooping bone marrow onto toast, and munching on pig’s trotters, we were as happy as could be. Our time at St. John Restaurant was only a few hours long, yet my parents and I left with happy stomachs, happy minds and happy hearts.