Chef Focus: Dan Ashmore, ASKR

February 27, 2024

Dan Ashmore has been on our radar for some time as Dean Banks Group Executive Chef, overseeing all of Dean's venues. He's now ready to open a place of his own at Chef Patron at ASKR, and he sat down with us to tell us all about it...

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

DA:  You’ve caught me at an amazing time actually, im just announching my debut restaurant ASKR – the concept is all cooked over open flame – ASKR  being old Nordic for ash

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

DA: Ive been a chef for 18 years now, I started in a garden center café when I was 15, have worked in some incredible 1 and 2 star restaurants and now im chef patron of my own site as well as managing 5 others, its been a journey!

SS: What are the biggest trends in the industry this year?

DA: I think simplicity and confidence (which im really glad to see) – some of the best plates of food I've seen this last few months have been 3 pieces on a plate and I love the confidence and skill that comes with that

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

DA: I've used SushiSushi products for about 7 years now – though mainly through Wellocks to be honest. So while I know what they're about and know a lot about Stu, I'd say our proper relationship is just starting to blossom now that Phil has joined and is making a huge effort to build on Stu's amazing work so far.

SS: What Japanese products do you currently use in your menu?

DA: We have a lot across the 5 restaurants already open and I plan to use plenty at ASKR - various seaweeds – though some are Scottish – ponzus, soys, mirin, rice vinegar, miso, kojis of various forms, yuzu, some sake also, and obviously plenty of chilli crack kicking about!

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

DA: A5 wagyu, bluefin tuna, white nori and kajita soy sauce.

SS: How has using Japanese ingredients influenced your menu?

DA: I think personally it’s a new way to season dishes and elevate other elements, I'm very classically French trained and its great for me to have these items so eaily on hand to taste and utilise in ways id not been shown before – resting fish in a bath of soy dressing for example.

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

DA: So, one of my best friends is the sous chef at Sezanne in Tokyo, I would go there for lunch then get him to show me around his favourite street food markets – 2 star and street food in a day, perfect!

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

DA: Its pure, its honest and it respects both its food culture, and its ingredients.

SS: Sake or Beer?

DA: Beer for the sesh. Though I love a good paired sake – I was at a wine tasting event recently and think I've found a great sake for a scallop dish I'm working on.

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