Mark Dobbie and Andy Oliver

@theloftproject 24th September

Mark Dobbie and Andy Oliver both work at Nahm, David Thompson’s Thai restaurant in Hyde Park Corner.  Mark Dobbie, the sous chef, has been there three years and Andy’s interest in Southeast Asian food brought him to the restaurant two years ago.  Between them they’ve travelled widely in Southeast Asia.  Andy is recently back from his latest trip which included working in Bangkok for Bo.Lan and Nahm Bangkok .

“Our focus is creating Southeast Asian inspired food that showcases interesting produce from the region, using some unusual techniques while still letting the ingredients speak for themselves. We like to use the best British meat and fish, but also encourage the smuggling of some choice exotics on flights from Bangkok!”

“Cooking Southeast Asian (and especially Thai) food is never boring. When you start to scratch the surface you realise how much there is to learn…it’s easily as big and complex as French food. We love the variety of ingredients, flavours and textures and the way you learn to taste. Plus there’s some great cooking techniques that break all the traditional Western rules – like taking a piece of fish that’s been marinated, dried in the sun, smoked over coconut and finally deep fried (for like…10 minutes!). What you end up with is not just-cooked fish that we in the West like to eat, but something different: crispy, smokey, savoury and salty, and, in the right salad, it’s perfect.”

Junya Yamasaki

@theloftproject Fri 21st, Sat 22nd October

Born and raised in Japan, chef Junya Yamasaki worked in film production in Tokyo, before leaving his homeland behind to study Fine Art in Paris.

His kitchen career kicked off while studying his MA in Paris, where he began working for Kunitoraya, a lauded Japanese Udon noodle bar in the 1st arrondissement. He went on to spend time at Rose Bakery, an organic English lunch time haunt, as popular with Parisians as expats. Working at these two popular neighborhood establishments Junya was inspired by the importance of warmth and health in food, two qualities which have gone on to shape his cooking.

Junya left Paris for London where he worked as a head chef/manager in Rose Bakery London at Dover Street Market.

He most recently opened KOYA, a Japanese Udon Noodle Bar, to unanimously good reviews, together with John Devitt in Soho in April 2010.

KOYA was awarded the “Discovery” Award at the London Restaurant Festival in 2010 and ranked No.2 in Timeout Top 50 Restaurant 2011.

“As the head chef of KOYA, I try to bring what has been neglected in Sushi dominated Japanese Cuisine in Europe, such as traditional Dashi making, foot-made Udon Noodle and all those heritage recipes in the country and family in Japan but realised in locally sourced ingredients in Britain.”

When Junya joins us at the Loft Project he’ll be treating diners to a menu based on the traditional Kaiseki style. For the full menu see the reservations page.

Sam Nutter

@theloftproject Fri 7th, Sat 8th, Sun 9th October

Darlington-born Samuel Nutter’s career as a chef began at just thirteen. Whilst helping out at his local cafe, one day he was asked to tend tables when the regular waitress was ill. From waiter to dishwasher, he soon found himself in the kitchen.

At seventeen he started at the Rose & Crown Hotel at Romaldkirk, where he spent three years before moving on to the Michelin-starred Vineyard at Stockcross. In his two years working under John Campbell, the restaurant earned its second star.

In 2008, Sam left England for Copenhagen and noma.

During his time there, two Michelin starred noma become the San Pellegrino ‘World’s Best Restaurant.’He left Denmark in summer 2011 and staged at three-star Oud Sluis (Holland), Aqua (Germany) and Per Se (USA) before moving to Paris to open Inaki Aizpitarte’s second restaurant, le Dauphin as sous chef.

Sam spent six months there before returning to noma as sous chef to work in the development kitchen.

Andre Saburo

@theloftproject Fri 8th and Sat 9th July

The Quina do Futuro, one of the most respected restaurants specializing in
Japanese cuisine throughout the Northeast, opened in December 1986 by
Shigeru Matsumoto. His son, Andre’s creations are a demonstration of maturity, creativity and style acquired by professionals specializing in Japanese cuisine in some Brazilian states, achieving balance expertly blended between Eastern and Western cultures.

Paul Foster

@theloftprojet Fri 27th and Sat 28th May

When asked about his style of cuisine “I focus on purity of flavour, and try to get the most out of each ingredient on the plate. I see Britain as local and source the best seasonal produce I can. My style is to combine interesting flavour combinations to excite peoples palate”
Paul Foster is head chef of Tuddenham Mill in rural Suffolk the perfect location for his natural seasonl progressive British food.
Paul former sous chef at Restaurant Sat Bains has also spent time at WD-50, The French Laundry, Le Manoir, and L’auberge de lille.