Five minutes with Sandi Richmond (Executive Chef of Nobu Shoreditch)
Living her dream by working and living in London, Nobu’s latest Executive Chef Sandi Richmond says she has to “pinch herself” whenever she thinks about how far she has come in her career.
Discover some of Sandi’s food loves, food hates, industry gripes and ambitions for the future. Plus read more about the latest menus at London’s newest Nobu outlet.
What’s your very first memory of food?
I have the fondest early memories of food. My mother is not a trained chef, but cooks better than I ever will. Growing up I ate a lot of ‘fancy’ foods, but my favourite early memory was eating Sunday pancakes with our next-door neighbours’ kids.
What’s the first recipe you properly learned to make?
The first thing I ever made was banana bread. One time, I actually forgot to add the bananas and the result was something I wouldn’t want to try again!
What do you like to do to relax?
Chefs are always on their feet so I’m a big fan of my simple pleasures. Relaxing with my feet up on the couch, watching a good series and enjoying food that I haven’t cooked. I particularly enjoy a good Shoreditch fish and chips.
What’s the one dish you can’t live without?
Gnocchi with four cheese sauce.
What ingredient would you take to a desert island with you?
Can anyone survive without their morning coffee?
You can have a one-off dinner party on your island… who would you invite?
The Queen of England of course. Who wouldn’t want to cook for the late Queen Elizabeth II – I hear she had excellent culinary taste too.
What has been the most formative experience of your career?
I still have to pinch myself that I’m running a kitchen at Nobu Shoreditch, but perhaps my most humbling experience was owning my own restaurant in South Africa. Not only did it toughen me for hard work, but it taught me all about the other side of the business. I now know how to do accounting as well as cooking!
It’s 8pm, you’ve just got home. What are you rustling up for dinner?
Mostly, I keep it simple. I don’t do a lot of cooking at home but in an ideal world I would make comfort food like a quick, tasty pasta.
Is there anything about the food industry that bugs you? We’d like to hear your thoughts…
Of course, there are a number of things. If I had to pick one, it would be the food wastage that the industry creates daily.
Tell us some more about Nobu Shoreditch. What kind of experience can diners come to expect?
Here at Nobu Shoreditch, we have a menu with all the Nobu Classics. These are dishes that Nobu San created himself, and you can find them in all Nobu restaurants. We also have a section of the menu that has our own dishes whilst following the Nobu Way. There are many dishes to choose from, and our dining experience is family-style, so dishes are designed to share on the table.
What’s the most popular item on the menu at present, and why do you think that is?
Most definitely Nobu’s absolute classic, Black Cod Miso. Firstly, because it’s a Nobu classic, and secondly its absolutely delicious. If you haven’t tried it, it’s a must.
Do you have any aspirations and dreams you’ve yet to fulfil?
My dreams are always changing and evolving. For now, I’m happy with the path I’m on and I have so many things I have yet to fulfil in the future. A big dream of mine was to live and work in London, so I’m relishing that now.
Next time you’re in Shoreditch, swing by Nobu Shoreditch and give Sandi’s dishes a try. Find out more here.
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