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Lee Westcott

Lee Westcott

Lee Westcott had by then attracted the attention of Jason Atherton, who asked him to oversee his two new restaurants in Hong Kong – 22 Ships and Ham & Sherry. Working here as executive chef, Lee Westcott helped build the menus for these modern Spanish tapas eateries, both centred on theatrical, open kitchens.

The creative small plates at 22 Ships and its sister restaurant, Ham & Sherry, included the signature Iberico pork and foie gras burgers with avocado purée and pickled cucumbers, as well as more traditional fare such as Roasted padron peppers with garlic and sea salt. The Baked smoked bone marrow with onion jam, sourdough and gentleman’s relish butter garnered rave reviews, and desserts such as ‘PBJ’ peanut ice cream with salted peanut caramel and cherry sorbet offered a playful end to the meal.

In 2014, Lee Westcott returned to the UK to finally realise his dream of opening his own restaurant. Backed by Jason Atherton, but very much in the hands of the young chef, Typing Room was located in Town Hall Hotel in East London’s Bethnal Green, where Lee also oversaw the hotel’s brasserie, Corner Room, and its Peg & Patriot bar.

His style of food at Typing Room was seasonal and modern with eclectic influences collected during his travels. Like his mentor, Tom Aikens, Lee treats vegetables with care and reverence – his Yeasted cauliflower, pickled raisins, crispy capers and mint fast became a signature dish, inspired by Noma’s treatment of undervalued vegetables. ‘If you are a skilled chef with imagination, you will want to elevate a vegetable to something delicious and beautiful, to do all sorts of things to it that will surprise people,’ he says.

Meat and fish were not neglected in his menus, however, and his Crispy fish skin, salt cod brandade and oyster emulsion and Lamb, smoked aubergine, yoghurt and onions were as beautiful as they were mouth-watering. His dessert of Strawberry, pistachio and white chocolate was also a delight and the Rye barley IPA sourdough with whipped Marmite butter served for the bread course was been received with wild acclaim.

In June 2018, The Typing Room hosted its final service after four years of business. Now closed, Lee is ready for the next chapter in his career.