Moving closer to ground level, the group opened Duck and Waffle Local last year in a bid to offer a “fast casual, chef-curated restaurant” that reflects the vibrant energy of its high-rise original. With the recent launch of a fabulous brunch menu, we caught up with Dan to hear his thoughts.
Firstly, let’s discuss the amazing brunch menu at Duck & Waffle Local. We loved the Braised Duck Beni and Breakfast Burger. Do you have any favourites?
You just said it – the breakfast burger. It’s just the right amount of indulgence, and it’s the perfect cure for a hangover.
Brunch at Duck and Waffle in the city remains as popular as ever. How do the two concepts differ from each other?
The menu in the city is much bigger, and I guess the experience is a bit more celebratory. At Local, we hope people drop by for a casual bite without needing to reserve months in advance, and there are also some great new dishes, which are quite different to those offered at the Mother Ship.
Speaking of the original Duck and Waffle, which came first? The name or the dish?
The dish. It was the only dish we were really sure of in the weeks before we opened. We built the menu around that.
You must get asked this frequently but how many signature Duck and Waffle dishes do you make in a month?
Around 10,000, so that’s more than 300 a day!
Aside from the signature dish, as Chef Director, where do you find inspiration when you’re creating a menu from scratch?
I’ve always got ideas knocking around in my head. Travelling and eating out are great sources of inspiration as well. I love food and cooking, and I think about food a lot.
How do you keep up with London’s ever-changing food scene and trends?
I don’t think about that really. I just see the way people eat in our restaurants and I see what works best. I also get bored and just like to mix things up.
In 2015, you launched Chefs of Tomorrow, which has evolved into The TMRW Project. So tell us more.
It’s about giving young hospitality folk a chance to learn, to experience different things and connect with one another through various projects, which you can learn more about by visiting http://www.chefsoftomorrow.co.uk/about
Back in the day when you were an aspiring Chef, did you ever expect to achieve the success you have?
I don’t know what I expected, but I don’t feel like I’ve achieved anywhere near what I want to. I’ve got quite a few years left in me yet!
What would be your advice to those wanting to achieve the same?
Everybody has different goals, and as long as you keep your head down, work hard and, most importantly, enjoy what you do, you’ll get there.
So what can we look forward to from you next?
I’m hoping to get Sprout open as soon as possible, which is really exciting for me, so watch this space for news!