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An Interview With Duck & Waffle's Executive Chef, Dan Doherty
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An Interview With Duck & Waffle's Executive Chef, Dan Doherty

Picture of Isabelle Pitman
Updated: 25 November 2016
Duck & Waffle is renowned for both its playful twist on the traditional breakfast dish and for being the highest restaurant in Europe. However, behind the menu of this delectable London restaurant lies the Head Chef, Dan Doherty. Dan’s successes are vast, ranging from his acceptance into the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts to inspiring young chefs and writing the Duck & Waffle cookbook. We talk to this humble cook to discover more.
Dan Doherty | © Ming Tang-Evans
Dan Doherty | © Ming Tang-Evans

Is there a specific dish you can recall from your childhood which has influenced you?

I’d say a Sunday roast. It really encapsulates what food is all about. There is nothing better than gathering around a dinner table with family to enjoy real, honest food.

Who shaped your style during your early career and training?

Probably Herbert Berger, the chef I trained under. I wouldn’t say he shaped my style per se, but he certainly formed my make up as a chef and taught me about food.

How would you describe your style of cooking and how is it incorporated into the Duck and Waffle menu?

​This is a tough one. I suppose I’d say traditional and playful? We are made up of mostly British chefs with some European influences, but we try to do things a little differently too.

Duck & Waffle's Dorset crab | © Ming Tang-Evans
Duck & Waffle’s Dorset crab | © Ming Tang-Evans

Duck and Waffle is open 24/7, does this create a challenging pace?

Logistically it was challenging at the beginning, but now we are three and a half years into it we have figured it out. I’m lucky to have a great team which helps so much.

Do you have a favourite ingredient that you enjoy cooking with?

This changes all the time and depends on the season. At the moment, I’d have to say Jerusalem artichokes. We currently have Jerusalem artichoke ravioli on the menu which is amazing.

Duck & Waffle's Full Elvis waffle | © Ming Tang-Evans
Duck & Waffle’s Full Elvis waffle | © Ming Tang-Evans

In 2014 you were the youngest person to be accepted into The Royal Academy of Culinary Arts. What did this mean to you?

It meant a lot, mostly because I could then play an active part in helping young chefs and the next generation. The youngest aspect is kind of irrelevant though, I don’t believe in age as a way of defining success.

You also have a cookbook, Duck & Waffle: Recipes and Stories. What do you like about the fact that people can recreate your recipes at home?

​Ultimately it gives people the chance to take their experience home, literally. The recipes are the exact ones we use at the restaurant, too.

Recently there has been a massive increase in awareness of healthy eating, spurred on by TV chefs, such as Jamie Oliver. Do you think the emerging trend of clean eating is a positive one for Britain, and for its restaurants?

​Well, it depends what is defined as ‘clean’. There have been many books and blogs talking about green this and Chia that, and it’s all a bit of a fad. Eat a balanced diet, meat, fish, vegetables, be good, be bad, exercise, and you’ll be fine.

Duck & Waffle's roasted corn and buttermilk mousse | © Ming Tang-Evans
Duck & Waffle’s roasted corn and buttermilk mousse | © Ming Tang-Evans

If you could sit down and have a meal with one chef in the world, who would that be?

Paul Bocuse, the godfather of cookery.

When you’re not eating at Duck & Waffle, which London restaurant would you recommend?

The Begging Bowl in Peckham. They do the most amazing Thai food, you really can’t go wrong.

Duck & Waffle's view at night | © Ming Tang-Evans
Duck & Waffle’s view at night | © Ming Tang-Evans
The Culture Trip Local Favorite 2015 Award

Duck & Waffle is one of the winners of The Culture Trip’s London Local Favorite 2015 Award. The Local Favorite badge is awarded to our favorite local towns, restaurants, artists, galleries, and everything in between. We are passionate about showcasing popular local talents on a global scale, so we have cultivated a carefully selected, but growing community.