Chef Sven-Hanson Britt on How Culinary Artistry Meets Nature's Bounty at Oxeye, London
The culinary arts are a craft that is intimately intertwined with the bounty of nature herself. And for the visionary chef Sven Hanson Britt, this is a truth that he has dedicated his life's work to. Nestled in the verdant Nine Elms, his restaurant Oxeye stands apart from the busy and bustling dining scene of London's city centre. A place of solace, warmth, and thoughtful design, it is truly a feast for the senses from start to finish.
The real magic of Oxeye lies not just in its physical ambiance, but in the culinary art of storytelling that is woven into every single dish. From the very highest quality produce, sourced from local UK farmers, to the fine protein raised with care and dedication by Park Farm in South Derbyshire, to the freshest seafood that is delivered straight from the nation's bustling ports on a daily basis, there is clear attention to detail.
And yet, it is not just the quality of the ingredients that sets Oxeye apart, but the singular vision and artistry of Chef Britt himself. Through his meticulous dedication, he has crafted a menu that celebrates the very best of what nature has to offer in every single bite. We chat with Chef Britt to discover his inspirations, motivations, and the artistry that he brings to the culinary world at Oxeye.
1. What is your cooking philosophy?
The philosophy of our food and cooking at Oxeye is simplicity. We spend our time finding the very best ingredients around the UK, and the globe, and we prefer to do very little with them, or more accurately, we prefer to make it look like to do very little with them. We want all of our customers to look at a plate of food in Oxeye and see something clean, beautiful and simple and not realise the huge amount of hours that went into it appearing in front of them!
2. Where do you find inspiration for your dishes?
I take a huge amount of inspiration from what is outside our windows. The way the weather or the pressure is on any given day, the season at the farm in Derbyshire and how that is affecting the growth of the flora and fauna. In autumn you will see dead leaves and branches decorating the restaurant, in spring, young shoots and flowers, we want Oxeye to be an expression of nature in every aspect.
3. Can you share with us your creative process when crafting dishes and menus, for instance, the Obento Lunch Menu?
It all starts with an ingredient. Maybe I’ve found a new ingredient that I love, that I would like to use and then the hard work starts. Once we can guarantee a certain amount of an ingredient then we just play around. We look at shapes and flavours from the farm and from our suppliers, we try to create interesting textures when we’re working out what we want to do, then we taste, taste, taste. All of this may take a few weeks, or even months, but once we’re happy then it’s on the menu straight away
'We want all of our customers to look at a plate of food in Oxeye and see something clean, beautiful and simple and not realise the huge amount of hours that went into it appearing in front of them!' - Chef Sven-Hanson Britt
4. If you could give a piece of advice to yourself at the start of your culinary career, what would it be?
This is a very good question! There is so much that I think back on and wish I had a chance to learn. I think I would try and convince myself to be patient, and not want everything straight away, take some time and learn as much as possible whilst keeping my head down!
5. What do you hope the guests would take away when dining at Oxeye?
I hope they really feel true hospitality and soul. We want to be delicious, and fun, and interesting, but really we want each customer to come to us and feel a little bit of something real. Some love and some true hospitality!
All imagery is provided by Tonic Communications.