This English chef is bringing working-class 'bread and dripping' to his finest patrons

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Audio Transcript:

Carol Hills: We want to introduce you to one of the hottest chefs in London at the moment - his name is Tom Sellers and he's just 26. Sellers has worked at some of the best restaurants in the world, fancy places. And now his place in London, called Restaurant Story, has a Michelin Star - also fancy. But the first course on his menu is his take on bread and dripping, a simple dish from his upbringing in the English Midlands.

Tom Sellers: I grew up in Nottingham, which is a very working-class area and town and there's a lot of physical work that was done. That whole area was responsible for a lot of heavy work and my father was a working man, worked his whole life, from very humble beginnings. I started in Nottingham and then I went all around the world and worked in some fantastic restaurants. But I think when I came back home, essentially when I wanted to open a restaurant, I used a lot of my memories as a child and my upbringing to influence the food that we cook every day in the restaurant.

If I was asked to put humble food on a plate, I think this dish kind of signifies that with bread and dripping. Dripping is basically animal fat that you would eat and classically with bread and dripping, it'd be fat from a cow, so beef. Most sundays my father would save the dripping from the meat that was cooked for that lunch on a sunday - in England, classically you have what you call a sunday lunch, which is kind of a big end of the week meal that your whole family would sit around and eat. My father would save back the fat from the roasting and he would dip bread into it either the follow morning or later that night and it was something that obviously not only my father did but everybody did in that area, that kind of time and those kind of people, so I think it was a huge inspiration.

It's kind of a dish that symbolizes the relationship I have with my father and my upbringing. I worked very hard on making a tallow candle — which is a candle made from animal fat, not wax. That's lit tableside in the dining room and then it's served with our homemade bread, which is a bread made from fermented apples and black treacle. And then it's finished with an English-style relish made from slow-cooked veal tongue, chicken jelly, and pickled horseradish. The 'secret Santa', if you want to say, in the whole dish is that the candle is lit at the table without the diner knowing that it's a beef fat candle. It's become our signature dish here at Restaurant Story. To serve bread and dripping at a Michelin Star restaurant is a true reflection of who I am and what I've learnt along the way.

Hills: English chef Tom Sellers told his story to producer Alex Gallafent.