Chef: Isaac McHale
Restaurant: The Clove Club, London
Awards: 1 Michelin Star & no. 27 World’s 50 Best Restaurants
Chef Isaac McHale’s philosophy is ‘reinventing modern British’ and it is one that has earned him 27th, the highest rank for a UK restaurant, in The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list 2019. He is the Head Chef of East London restaurant The Clove Club, which focuses on British produce and putting vegetables at the forefront of dishes and that earned him a Michelin star and Best International Chef prize in the Guida di Identità Golose in 2016.
Scotland-born chef Isaac McHale started his career at a fish-mongers at fourteen years. McHale’s cuisine reflects the experiences that have taken him through prestigious kitchens around the world. After acquiring experience in Sydney, working at Mark Best’s Marque, he arrived in London and started to work in the kitchen with Tom Aikens. The young Scottish chef then showed off his skills during the six years spent at Ledbury, under the direction of Australian Brett Graham. He became the chief researcher of that perfectionist kitchen and it was an important time in which, together with technique, Isaac understood of what elements his cooking was made, with the roots deep in Scotland and his mind going around the world.
During his short stay at Noma, he learnt the importance of being in contact with nature which helped him perfect this research for the purity of his traditions. So in 2011 McHale, together with friends Ben Greeno and James Lowe, created the Young Turks collective, founding a series of pop up restaurants that redefined the concept of restaurant in London in the first decade of the millennium, creating an avant-garde based on a projection of English tradition towards a lighter expression.
The Clove Club, London