Ten Minutes with Lewis Wilson, Head Pastry Chef at The Ritz London
Lewis Wilson has it all – youth, talent, passion and as consequence success. Already at his young age he has become the head pastry chef at the prestigious Ritz hotel in London where he, with his team, creates some lovely chocolate desserts. We have met him in the kitchen of the famous hotel and he has created his favourite chocolate desserts right in front of our eyes.
How would you introduce yourself?
I started out as a kitchen chef 16 years ago and during the training I showed an interest in pastry, therefore I was allowed to get involved a little. I have now been in pastry for nine years, eight of those have been at The Ritz London. I got promoted to Head Pastry Chef at The Ritz two years ago.
What is your secret desire/ambition?
To own my own pastry shop.
What is your ultimate dream?
To have a successful pastry shop, in which I would train young inspiring people to develop into great pastry chefs of the future. I also dream of writing my own pastry book.
What is your greatest achievement?
If you had told me 16 years ago that I would be Head Pastry Chef at The Ritz London, I would never have believed it. I truly feel that being in my position in one of the UK’s most prestigious hotels is my greatest achievement and I am so proud of this.
What/who is inspiring you?
My Executive Chef John Williams, my partner/Sous Chef Lucy Jones, Philippe Rigollot (MOF) and Stephane Le Roux (MOF).
What do you love most about your work?
The creativity … and of course getting paid to do something I truly love: making desserts, ice creams and cakes!
What are your favourite flavours?
Milk chocolate, Hazelnut and Tonka.
What is your relationship with chocolate?
It’s in everything we do and it is so versatile as it gets used in so many different ways and of course – it’s delicious!
Which chocolate desserts are on your menu, which of them is your favourite and why?
We have quite a few: for the Palm Court Afternoon Tea we have a chocolate and tonka celebration cake; in The Ritz Restaurant we have a milk chocolate and chestnut Mont Blanc, a Hazelnut Semi Freddo; and on our banqueting menu we have my favourite – Chocolate Textures with Sea Salt and Tonka. On this last dish, I just love the way the textures and flavours go so well together.
What was the best chocolate dessert that you have eaten and where?
It was at Tuddenham Mill when Paul Foster was working there. His Bitter Chocolate Mousse with Hazelnut and Buttermilk was absolutely stunning.
What would be your final message for our readers?
Start playing with chocolate as much as possible, and create things you would want to eat yourself.