Alex Bond is a lodestar for modern British cuisine, and his Michelin-Starred restaurant, Alchemilla, is nothing short of magical. It’s an ode to seasonality, provenance, and attention to detail. His menu is the final word in flavour.
Alex stumbled across a professional kitchen whilst looking for work experience during secondary school. From here he then went to work for some of Britain's best chefs. Notably, Gavin Aitkenhead, who had been the chef at two-starred Winteringham Fields.
After having almost a decade of experience, Alex made the big step up to work under Sat Bains at Restaurant Sat Bains. The opportunity came about after Alex had visited for dinner and suddenly found himself still there, post-service, having a drink with Sat himself. Alex then wrote to Sat and asked for a job. This position had a huge influence on Alex and his development as a chef, transforming his approach to food and teaching him how to constantly strive for improvement and excellence.
After two and a half years with Sat, Alex moved on to work in a number of restaurants including Auberge du Lac, Wild Rabbit and Turner’s before opening his own restaurant, Alchemilla in Nottingham. It is a place where Alex can demonstrate his modern approach to food, using age-old techniques such as fermentation, pickling and dry-aging to create interesting and novel dishes that are at the cutting edge of British cuisine. Using these methods allows Alex to showcase how ingredients that would otherwise be thrown away can be transformed into a delicious dish. An example of this is the outside of the meat after it has been aged. Although this part is no longer edible, it holds so much flavour, so Alex used this to infuse oils to later create an emulsion. This approach to sustainability is an asset that Alex is becoming renowned for. In 2019, Alex’s hard work certainly paid off when he gained his first Michelin star at Alchemilla.
Alex created a 3 course experience for Banquist that was truly representative of style and method around cooking. It included Hand-dived Orkney scallop, truffle beurre blanc, Jerusalem artichoke, hazelnut, pear. 42 day aged Cumbrian rump of beef, sauce Bordelaise, confit onion, leek, ‘tasty paste’ and Sticky chocolate caramel tart, miso ice cream.
We had the opportunity to film with Alex at Alchemilla during lockdown. Whilst filming, he and his chefs were testing, practicing and refining their new tasting menu. It was an amazing opportunity to see the hard work of Alex and his team and the lengths they go to to create the perfect, Michelin starred menu. You should expect to see dishes like Ceps, button and field mushrooms glazed with marmite and served with aged beef tartare - a dish that has become one of Alex’s signatures. Desserts like hay custard with bramley apple and burnt sugar also feature. The mentioned dishes are prime examples of how Alex incorporates the waste-free approach into his menu. The marmite he uses is made from leftover sourdough from the kitchen, so there really is nothing that goes to waste! He loves to put veg at the forefront of his menu, especially those that are seasonal and local for Alex. He has a kitchen garden, so it is often growing, picking and foraging to find ingredients for his new creations.
The menu was a taster for the type of food that Alex serves at his restaurant and left our Banquistadors hungry for more !