As head chef at One Canada Square Ross Bott was confined amongst the soaring skyscrapers to sate the appetites of time-poor office workers.
So when twice Michelin-starred chef Atul Kochhar came swopping in to lure him away it is hardly surprising the ambitious 30-something decided to fly his marble nest.
He has journeyed outside London- to the recently named top commuter town Amersham- where he is now overseeing the kitchen at Hawkyns , Atul’s first British restaurant.
Set in the historic The Crown Inn dinners are surrounded by wood with touches of vibrant colour a nod to the Atul’s Indian heritage.
The food however is pure British and it is clear Ross has been allowed to spread his wings and see where the winds take him.
The perfectly soft scallops I chose to start were served with slightly uninspiring textures of leek when we visited but are now being offered with a carrot based twist.
A delicious terrine of ham hock has now been substituted for chicken.
But if the high standard of each dish is maintained then there can be no cause for complaint.
The first bite of my water basin cooked duck breast was like the finest velvet - utterly entrancing and matched well with the scorched artichoke- if a little cloying towards the end.
The fish was served in simple splendour, sans batter with pea puree, tartar sauce and delicate beads of scraps- allowing its delicate flavour to shine.
But it was the siren smell of the textures of mushroom that stole my heart and befuddled my tastebuds.
Dessert beckoned and we had to wait a full 15 minutes for the tarte tatin but had no regrets.
We were still there luxuriating over the perfectly balanced spoonfuls when Ross flew by on his way home- soaring on the winds of change, lovely to see a former Wharfer flying high.
Prices £8-14 for starters, £16-29 for mains and £7-12 for dessert.
Amersham is less than 70 minutes from Canary Wharf via the Jubilee and Met Line.
Or stay over from £122 per night.
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