Sunday 24 January 2016
Tom Sellers is one of the UK’s brightest and most precocious culinary talents. In 2013, aged just 26, he opened Restaurant Story and within five months had won a Michelin star. Impressive yes, but not unexpected for a chef whose career has been on the fast-track since he was 16 when he knocked on Tom Aiken’s kitchen door. Stints at Per Se in New York and Noma in Copenhagen soon followed, as well as a Sous Chef position with mentor and Obsession festival veteran Adam Byatt at the highly acclaimed Trinity in Clapham.
At first glance, Restaurant Story seems to be in a most unlikely location – a traffic island by Tower Bridge. But the light and spacious dining room decorated with bookcases and set with 13 well-spaced tables is actually located in one of London’s foodie hot spots.
Maltby Street Market and Borough Market are both within easy walking distance as are the restaurant hubs of the Shard building, Shad Thames and Bermondsey Street.
Your view through Story’s glass frontage might be of busy Londoners battling their way through the traffic, but inside all is calm.
Sellers and his team work efficiently behind the glass screened show kitchen while diners engage in the narrative of a 10-course meal that’s packed with considered culinary technique, visual flair and, most importantly, great flavours.
Sellers says his food is inspired by ‘his culinary career and the history of British food, memory or provenance of ingredients’ and he’s already created some modern classics. For example, his ‘bread and dripping’ comes in the form of a mini sourdough loaf and edible beef fat candle that, when lit, melts and creates the dripping. Every course comes with a twist or surprise, be it a verdant dish of cucumber and scallop served with dill ash and ‘snow’, or vegetables served in a plant pot filled with edible soil.
In addition to approbation from the guide books and national restaurant critics, Sellers has amassed a number of accolades including ‘Breakthrough Chef of the Year’ at the 2013 Food and Travel Awards and the number 13 spot in the current National Restaurant
Awards Top 100 list. Sellers has opened his own pub, The Lickfold Inn, set in the beautiful West Sussex countryside near Petworth and is currently writing his first cookbook. Despite all his achievements, it seems Tom Sellers’ story has only just begun.
Tom Seller's Obsession 16 Menu:
Gusbourne Blanc de Blancs, Kent, England, 2010
Sauvignon Blanc, Adoro, Stellenbosch, South Africa, 2010
Condrieu, La Petite Côte, Yves Cuilleron, Rhône Valley, France, 2013
Pesquera Reserva, Bodegas Alejandro Fernández, Ribera del Duero, Spain, 2007
ALMOND AND DILL
Barbeito, Single Harvest Colheita, Madeira, Medium Dry, 2003