In the last of our spotlight series on the best London party venues in association with Cîroc Ultra-Premium Vodka, Jarad McCarroll, head chef at Tom Sellers’ Restaurant Ours, tells us how to get everything you want from a night out in one space.
What are you responsible for as head chef?I’m responsible for the house operation and I’m in charge of the team here, but my main role is to create a menu that’s consistent, seasonal, organic and tasty.
How did you get to where you are now?I’ve always loved food, so I’ve been cooking forever – when I was 22 I studied in Switzerland before coming across to London in 2009. I worked at The Ritz and then went to work in the Harwood Arms and Kitchen W8, then private members’ club Home House, and then on to Chiltern Firehouse, before finally coming to run Ours, which I love.
What do you love most about it?I love the adrenaline of service, so I’ve always enjoyed the hospitality industry, but I’d say the best part of my job is creating something that’s beautiful. I work with the best produce and it’s really exciting when you can have no idea in the morning what you’re going to do with it, and by the afternoon it’s on a plate. The feedback is right there – you either like it or you don’t, so you tweak it and by the end of the day you’ve created a new dish.
Do you cook much away from work?I’m always at work! I don’t actually do that much cooking away from the restaurant – my wife tends to do most of it – though if we’re having a barbecue or something I’ll often get involved.
What’s your go-to barbecue dish?A lovely, unique thing to do is barbeque a cauliflower and then you can make a salad with it. Cook it slowly so it’s charred on the outside, then throw it in a salad with berries and some lettuce. My go-to side dish would probably be a potato bake with Parmesan cheese, mayonnaise, melted onions, thyme and double cream. Always a winner.
Tell me about Restaurant Ours – what makes it different to other venues?Loads – it’s fun, the atmosphere is great, there’s the living wall, it’s young and trendy, but what I think is really great about it is that the food is fun. You can sit down with five friends and rather than have a starter, a main and a desert each, you can share a load of small plates, so you get to try loads of different things and leave with many tastes. It’s great for groups.
There’s loads to make your celebration great – the long catwalk from the entrance to the restaurant, there are loads of great spaces to take photos, there’s live music during the week and DJs at weekends. So you can start your party with a cocktail upstairs in the Living Room bar, spend a couple of hours downstairs in the venue eating, and then go back upstairs for more drinks and dancing.