Carlo Scotto and Amethyst’s 12-course tasting menu takes you on a gastronomic journey of meticulously prepared seasonal plates with clever and creative flavour combinations, influenced by Nordic and Japanese cuisine, with French and Arabic touches too. This is set around a large stunning real amethyst and quartz bespoke Chef’s Table in full view of the pass where you can see Carlo Scotto and the team in action.
We caught up with Carlo to talk about his exciting new concept.
How did it all start?
My passion for cooking started at a very young age. I am Italian and at the heart of every family is a kitchen full of food. Food brings people together and I spent most of my childhood learning how to cook alongside my grandmother, who inspired me to become a chef. At 13, I entered the professional kitchen for the first time, taking an apprentice job at Michelin star restaurant Don Salvatore in my hometown, Naples.
Later on, I spent time in some of the world’s renowned and celebrated kitchens, from Japan to Sweden, before moving to London in 2008 to join the teams at Gordon Ramsay Holdings, Angela Hartnett at Murano and Galvin La Chapelle. After years of hard work and sacrifice, I am very proud to have launched my own restaurant, Amethyst.
Tell us about this intimate gastronomic experience of meticulously prepared plates with paired wines?
I wanted to transport my diners across the world with Amethyst and the menu is a reflection of my travels throughout my career. Every dish is unique and draws inspiration from Japanese, Arabic and Nordic cuisines, with some twists.
As you can imagine with tasting menus, there’s a specific order in which the plates are served. During service, my team present each dish meticulously and for wine pairings, our Head Sommelier Filippo Carnevale explains how the chosen wines complement my menu. It’s great to see many returning diners who are willing to take part in this culinary journey more than once.
What about the interiors?
Amethyst is spread across in two floors; a wine cellar downstairs which accommodates 16 people, whilst the ground floor is the Chef’s Table, a bespoke 21-cover table made of amethyst (my birthstone) and quartz with irregular edges throughout. It’s a very unique concept that gives my guests the flexibility to enjoy an intimate experience together, whilst being in front of the pass and interact with me and and the team.
What would you say to people who don’t typically choose tasting menus?
Tasting menus are a journey. From the moment you seat at the table, you are transported to a culinary world of flavours from all over the world, my menu is like a map. It also gives you the opportunity to learn about the story behind each dish, its components and how paired wines can elevate the gastronomic experience. There is a lot of research and work behind tasting menus, and I am glad to see that they are becoming more and more popular lately.
How important is sustainability when it comes to the provenance of ingredients?
Very important. I try to use only the best and freshest ingredients for my dishes and seasonality is key. I’m very proud to work with some local artisan suppliers and the support that we are getting is incredible.
Any future signature dishes you are working on currently that you can tell us about?
Good question! I can’t disclose the details, but I can say that I am working on a surprise dish for my menu.
What do you like to cook at home?
Sounds simple, but my go to at the moment is a rice salad, mixed with homemade olive oil, lemon, herb and garlic dressing. Ideal for the summer.
Top 3 favourite restaurants in London?
I would say Kitchen Table for its food and The Ritz for its atmosphere. Another one of my favourites is The Clove Club.
If you could award a Michelin star right now, who would it be to and why?
There are so many talented chefs at the moment and some fantastic restaurants. It is hard for me to pick one.
What is next in the culinary journey for you and Amethyst?
Right now, my number one priority is continuing to grow Amethyst to be the best it can be. It’s only been a few weeks and we’ve had some wonderful feedback so far, which has been great to hear. I’m happy to be cooking in my own restaurant again.
One thing I will do for sure is continue travelling to discover and embrace new cultures and infuse my menu with new ingredients. It’s an ongoing process and I’m very excited to see what the future holds.
To discover more, visit: amethystdining.com
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All imagery courtesy of Amethyst Dining / Lateef Photography.