Chef Focus: Adam Summers, James Martin Group

January 29, 2024

We sat down with Adam Summers - Company Chef for James Martin - to talk all things Japan and to get an insight into his culinary journey! 

SS:

Tell us about your restaurant, how long it’s been running and what the core concept is?

 

Adam:

James Martin's restaurants are driven by British seasonality, with some world influence thrown in for good measure. Simply preparing the products with care and respect, to showcase them to the best of our capabilities.

 

SS:

How long have you been a chef and where did it all start?

 

Adam:

Cooking since the age of 16, I was influenced to use kitchens as a tool to travel and experience different cultures.My Grandfather was a Grand Chef at the Dorchester in the 70’s, I'd say early memories of our large family roast dinners for up to 30 people at his home played a part. The sights and aromas still echo in me.

 

SS:

What are the biggest trends in the industry this year?

 

Adam:

I'm not one for trends generally, but I’d say large scale social dining has definitely been on the rise. The canteen style “all in one location” of entertainment and eating seems to be very attractive now after the days of lockdown!

 

SS:

How is your relationship with SushiSushi and how long have you worked together?

 

Adam:

SushiSushi has ultimately been a revolution in the way we look at accenting our cuisine, without compromising on our beliefs of simple cooking. It perfectly compliments our food, hitting the best of British sea food and proteins with Unami and rich notes.

 

SS:

What Japanese products do you currently use in your menu?

 

Adam:

Yawataya Shichimi Togarashi, Horaiya honten koji soy sauce, Shibanuma Ponzu Yuzu Katsuo and of course ‘Chilli Crack’ - this stuff goes everywhere, but our best serving is onto our crispy hoisin duck buns. It's dangerous stuff!

 

SS:

If money were no object, what Japanese ingredient would you always have on the menu?

 

Adam:

We would definitely use Japanese bluefin tuna. Raw, marinated, confit, BBQ’d, Charred. It has so many preparations that bring such depth of flavour and satisfaction. It truly is a top product.

 

SS:

How has using Japanese ingredients influenced your menu?

 

Adam: 

It enhances and intensifies all that it touches, using salinity, acid and umami in all the ways we try to season traditionally, but with that flair we look for as chefs. Recognisable flavours for guests even when they cannot distinguish quite what they are.

 

SS:

If you could travel to Japan tomorrow just for food, what would be the top things you’d want to do or try?

 

Adam:

I’d love to spend time eating at restaurants that serve Tempura and Soba. Always have a content heart once I’ve eaten them!

 

SS:

Why do you think Japan is so admired in the West for its cuisine?

 

Adam:

Japan holds itself a reputation of artisanal produce, to an almost cult-like intensity. Whilst retaining humility, regimented formality and always beautiful presentation.

 

SS: 

Sake or beer?

 

Adam:

Beer, can't beat the refreshing first taste!

 

Link to all products:

https://www.sushisushi.co.uk/collections/all-food-products

 






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