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Jimmy Garcia - Jimmy's Pop-Up Kitchen

5th Sep 2014

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Described by the Sunday Times as the pop-up king, Jimmy Garcia and his team serve up a range of bespoke and immersive dining nights for those who like their royalty to be of the foodie variety. Having founded Southwest Supper Club, Wild Food Kitchen, and Jimmy’s Supper Club at Annex East, Jimmy is constantly popping up in locations all over London...

Jimmy, describe your food in three words
Fun, creative and sourced.

Where did you learn your trade?
I guess I learnt the basics working in a restaurant in Wakefield when I was 16. But I probably learnt most on the boats and chalets I worked, cooking for small numbers of people and refining my own style and taste every day, with no budget and amazing ingredients!

What is your food inspired by?
Locality and seasonality, and giving customers something unique and new.

Where do you source your ingredients?
I have a great network of suppliers that I've built up over time. I get lovely hand-dived scallops from Dorset, foraged mushrooms from Epping Forest, game from my gamekeeper friend Rich, meat from M. Moen & Sons butchers in Clapham Old Town. I’ve also started using some amazing boudin noir from French chef Christian Para. It's incredible – he produces it in the French mountains.

What’s a signature dish from Jimmy’s Pop-Up?
Hand-dived scallops and maple pancetta with spiced cauliflower purée, samphire, truffle-cured beetroot, walnut crumb and smoked and dried scallop roe.

Which chefs inspire you?
I love what Tom Sellers is doing at Story, and Thomas Keller with a sous vide is inspiring. Then again, the way Jamie Oliver has created an empire is equally inspiring.

The pop-up food scene went through the roof a few years ago. Where do you think it is now?
Still above the roof! There's a lot of rubbish out there but it's up to people to decide the good and the bad for themselves. That's part of the adventure!

Breakfast, lunch or dinner?
Dinner every time.

If you could live in any other city for its food, where would you live?
Barcelona. My dad’s Spanish and I learnt a lot from him.

What advice would you give to anyone starting a career in food?
Go for it.

Jimmy’s Pop-Up is currently residing at Cellar of DVine Wines, 74 Landor Road, London SW9;