The Wordrobe’s editor Sophie Ritchie talks the importance of maximum effort and exploring culinary creativity with Michelin chef Alfredo Russo, Head Chef at The Franklin Restaurant by Alfredo Russo
What inspired you to become a chef?
I had a shortlist of three creative jobs: the carpenter, the tailor, and the cook … At the age of 13, I went to work in a kitchen and was immediately attracted by that fascinating environment of tensions, research, tastes, etc … so here I am.
Where did you train?
After hotel school, I worked in many Michelin-starred restaurants where I learned the fundamentals of cooking and the basic techniques.
Tell us more about your culinary background…
Today more than ever, my job is based on a technique that must enhance the ingredients, the real protagonists of my work.
What’s your favourite autumnal dish?
This is an easy answer, I am from Turin, the capital of Piedmont: land of great wines, cheeses and amazing meats and then … the white truffle, which is harvested only in October and November.
My favourite autumnal dish which is currently on the menu at The Franklin Restaurant in London would be ravioli with hen and aged parmesan cheese.
What can guests expect from a meal at The Franklin Restaurant by Alfredo Russo?
We fully respect the terroir and understand how to make the most of the seasons staying true to the needs of guests.
Food is modern and contemporary, strongly influenced by Italian eating culture.
It is fresh, interesting, tastes delicious and often surprises the guests with a twist. Vegetables certainly lead the way, but a quality piece of sustainably farmed meat or wild-caught fish is always incorporated.
What, in your opinion, makes a great restaurant?
There are several factors that can make the difference: the decor, the comfort, the kitchen, the service are key points but most of all it is the people who work there that make the difference.
What does it take to achieve a Michelin star?
Consistency is probably one of the main factors, giving the maximum to every service, every day, every week, every month, every year … only if you have the greatest passion can you have this continuity.
Do you have any role models?
I don’t have a role model, but I like to know that I have passed on my passion and my knowledge to many young chefs and this is very rewarding.
What does hospitality mean to you?
Hospitality to me means to be sure that all guest’s needs are taken care of.
Name three of your top restaurants.
It would be unfair to name only three…so I will name the ones that no longer exist: Fredy Girardet in Crissier, Milano Via Bonvesin by Gualtiero Marchesi and elBulli by Ferran Adrià.
What advice would you offer to aspiring chefs?
To learn the fundamentals of techniques, explore creativity and to rediscover their country origins.
Finally… what’s your favourite midnight snack?
A rich sandwich and fresh fruits… but please, don’t tell my wife…
Try Alfredo’s dishes for yourself at
The Franklin Restaurant by Alfredo Russo, London