The Imperial in Chelsea, London is continuing a run of very successful partnerships with a residency from River Cottage in February.


An 8-course tasting menu is being designed by the River Cottage team, headed by chef Steven Lamb, their smoking and curing expert. Steven and his team will be bringing a little slice of the Dorset countryside to the Imperial dining room for 3 nights only. The menu will champion sustainable, local produce as well as showcasing Steven's skills. Expect dishes such as Onion squash puree, sourdough, purple broccoli & smoked cheese and Hot smoked venison, pancetta, spiced red cabbage & herb polenta.

The residency will consist of one dinner service each day on 11, 12 and 13 of February (6pm-10pm) and a lunch service at on Friday 12th (12.30pm). Lunch and dinner is priced at £100 per head.

Reservations can be made directly with The Imperial either by phone 0207 736 6081or by email

Steven Lamb has been at River Cottage for a decade and is one of the linchpins of the whole operation. He teaches on several courses at the Cookery School, specialising in curing and smoking. We asked him a few questions about his culinary habits.

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In my fridge there’s always some home-cured bacon or pancetta and a selection of cheeses

My favourite 15-minutes recipe is garlic and white wine steamed mussels

My guilty food secret is I can pick at the roasted carcass of a chicken way beyond normal acceptance

If you gave me a tenner i’d spend it on a platter of cured meats from an local deli

A restaurant trend I see being the next big thing is authentic, traditional Mexican. Inevitably, whether we like it or not, insects will begin to appear on menus

What are the three most useful ingredients and why? Salt is my favourite ingredient because it is a ‘transformer’ meaning it enhances flavour as well as cures and preserves meat and fish. Eggs are really versatile and can be individually cooked several ways or used in most cooking methods such as baking. I like to make a carbonara with fresh eggs and home cured pancetta. Good quality oils such as olive or rapeseed is an absolute staple because of the flavour it can impart on any other ingredient either cooked or dressed in it.

Which piece of kitchen equipment couldn’t you live without? A good quality knife such as my Flint & Flame chef’s knife which has a laser sharp edge and great balance.

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