Zeeland, in the Netherlands, is in fact kind of a part of Flanders….therefore people there are almost completely like Flemish people, hard working, passionate professionals who’d die doing their jobs with their heart…just like, say, Sergio Herman…Now he’s had quite a few exceptional characters passing through his kitchen in the days of the legendary 3* restaurant Oud Sluis…Filip Claeys, Tim Boury, Syrco Bakker, Nick Bril…but also a young guy from Australia, Luke Armstrong. I’ve always liked Luke, his clear and determined view on gastronomy, his relentless hunger for perfection, his endless energy…so I decided to keep an eye on him. After years of perfecting his cooking skills throughout Europe, it was with great pleasure that I visited him at Gordon Ramsay’s Maze in posh Mayfair, London, UK tonight.
Maze is situated within the Marriot hotel and was, until shortly, known as the place where Jason Atherton delivered his credentials to the culinary world. Now we all know how the story went between Gordon and Jason, so not sure this is really helping Luke..
But hey, as the people from Flanders and Zeeland, Luke was born in a country full of stubborn and determined people, Australia. So a couple months ago, Luke took over as head chef, with a clear mission, give the fullest expression to his cooking style and regain the lost Michelin star…
Allow me to cut some corners here and to make a long story quite short. Luke delivered a stunning performance tonight. Using first class ingredients to create technically challenging dishes packed with well balanced flavors is a real achievement. Especially since he took over the kitchen just 4 months ago after well, a few difficult years for Maze which eventually led to the loss of their Michelin star. Everything tonight was delicious, from the first appetizers to the perfect refreshing Pavlova… His (shell)fish dishes were so good that they even challenge the epic ingredient quality levels over at Hedone.
The pictures speak pretty much for themselves. If you are in London, you just have to try and eat here….you will not regret it…
There’s no doubt that the lost Michelin star is going to be won back soon…and we have the kind people of Zeeland to thank for that as Sergio has had an unmistakable influence on the chef Luke Armstrong has become, despite his young age. Of course this would not have been possibly without Gordon Ramsay and his executive team who really have given the opportunity to Luke to reshape and rethink things here either. I am very curious to see how the symbiosis between Luke and Gordon will further influence the culinary style of Maze in the years to come, so YES, I’ll definitely come back!
My score for this meal: 17/20