Self-taught modernist chef’s vision to be the best

Zek Klietz will cook for a panel of judges next month as he competes for the title of Visionary Chef of the Year.

The 31-year-old chef and his wife Nicole took over the Crescent Road Restaurant in Worthing four years ago.

He says that he has drawn upon 16 years of experience in the hospitality business to create a modern British fine dining restaurant. One of the dishes on the current menu is chocolate fondant served with curry ice cream, coconut and ginger with golden raisins.

Mr Klietz said: “We do a mix of classical and modern food though it is not quite what people expect because we like to reinvent the classics. We change the menu constantly because we always use seasonal food of the best quality.

“As cooking progresses you have to progress with it. I am self-taught but the information is freely available online and there is a lot that you can do.”

Mr Klietz regularly uses liquid nitrogen to make ice cream and sorbets, iSi whips to create foams and infusions and balloons to mould food.

He said: “That is just my style, I do not want to say that I am modernist chef and I do all these different things, I am not Heston Blumenthal and I do not want to do that thing. A lot of people would not even know what has gone in to making their food.”

Mr Klietz has worked at the Chester Grovesnor where he won a Michelin star, with Richard Corrigan at Lindsay House in Soho and with royal chef Mark Flanagan. In January he will work for a month at the prestigious Quay restaurant in Sydney.

He will be mentored by Matt Gillan for the competition final, in which he will prepare one course with the theme of the forest.

Mr Klietz said: “I am going to use lots of different elements with blackberry and chocolate soil, stones using brandy soaked cherries coated in kaolin, an edible Chinese clay. It would be quite nice to win and get the recognition because a lot of the stuff I know is self-taught and it would be great to be recognised by the industry, It may even make the Michelin guys come down here and see us.”

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