Meet the Chef - Ben Murphy at Enfood
PUBLISHED: 00:00 28 February 2020
We speak to Ben Murphy, the Head Chef at Enfood in Enfield’s Dugdale Centre,
Describe your style
My style brings together lots of colourful, vibrant dishes presented in front of the customer where possible. I use a wide range of eastern Mediterranean flavours to add a punch to local produce. I like to encourage conversation to develop by keeping menu descriptions open.
How do you decide your menu?
We focus on using as much amazing local produce as possible. Using local goes hand in hand with using seasonal produce too, which is great. We prioritise our trusted suppliers, such as Forty Hall Farm, and build our salads and vegan whole roasted vegetable dishes around their fresh local ingredients.
Which producers do you use?
We use Tudor Chutney which is a great product from Hertfordshire and we source our beef locally from Native Beef. We are currently in the process of procuring a Hertfordshire produced rapeseed oil too. The golden yellow colour is amazing!
Which menu dish do you most enjoy preparing?
The jalapeno mac and cheese balls, which formed part of our Mexican pop-up menu. They were an absolute hit. We have also just introduced a new tuna miso mayonnaise sandwich on local sourdough. We press sesame seeds into the bread which take on a lovely toasted flavour.
What ingredient is most important to your cooking?
I am a big advocate of good quality sea salt and good quality spices. They really make the difference to the final flavour of a dish. Good quality oil is also a necessity.
Your best culinary idea?
Squashamole - a local and equally creamy take on guacamole!
Who did you train under and what did they teach you?
I trained classically in college but also worked in a brilliant Middle Eastern café in Dublin, where I learnt a lot about colourful and attractive food. I worked for two years in Spain where I learnt the importance of quality ingredients and keeping things simple when you have good produce.
Next food trend?
It's all about vegan food now and finding ways of adding big flavours to tempt even meat eaters to go meat free. Making sure your menu includes appetising options for vegan, gluten free and meat free diets is essential for every business to be successful.
What's in your fridge at home?
Milk and butter always! I also have a huge spice rack which helps create big flavours.
Favourite quick meal?
Flatbread with fried eggs and Middle Eastern spices. Maybe some frozen spinach wilted in garlic oil.
Top three tips for amateur cooks?
1. Be creative and don't be afraid to experiment.
2. Use good quality ingredients where possible.
3. Strive to treat vegetables with as much love as meat.
Taverna by Georgina Hayden - a Greek Cypriot cook living in Enfield.