The Silver Birch has a new Chef

Michelin star award winning chef Nathan Cornwell

The Silver Birch has a new Head Chef. Nathan Cornwell has come from Moor Hall in Lancashire, which has two Michelin stars, five AA Rosettes and was voted ‘Best Restaurant in England’ at the Estrella Damm National Restaurant Awards 2022.

Nathan told The Chiswick Calendar he was lucky enough to work alongside the patron Mark Birchall at Moor Hall and was given charge of The Barn at Moor Hall, for which he won a Michelin star also. No doubt The Silver Birch’s owner Tim Price is hoping he will do the same for the Chiswick High Rd restaurant, which is celebrating its second anniversary this year.

Nathan grew up in a household where fresh food was taken for granted, he told us, as his parents grew a lot of their own food.

“Friday night was regularly spent digging potatoes and we went fishing and pigeon shooting. I didn’t realise at the time how unusual it was to have good, fresh food all the time, just to be able to out into the garden and pick tomatoes.”

He started working in restaurants at 15 and since the age of 16 has worked in nothing but the best, Michelin starred restaurants, starting at Lucknam Park hotel near Bath, “a big country house hotel with lovely food.”

In Cheltenham he worked in a very small restaurant “in a small team of very, very competent chefs.

“That was a huge turning point for me. It was run by a chef-owner who lived above the restaurant. They had no children, so we were like their children. They had two Michelin stars which they held for 12 years. It was a very close team.”

He then went off travelling and worked at Copenhagen’s Geranium (3 Michelin stars) and Stockholm’s Kadeau and Oaxen Krog (2 Michelin Stars respectively).

“I wanted to see some of the world and at that time Nordic cuisine was very ‘in’. I learned a lot about preserving and fementing.”

And so to the Barn at Moor Hall and his first Michelin star.

Images above: Devon smoked eel starter; Shetland cod main

Very British, very seasonal food

What will he be trying to achieve at The Silver Birch?

“I will be trying to do very British, very seasonal food, quite simple with three or four flavours and perfect vegetables. All fresh meat, and in season we will do a lot of game.”

Nathan ages the beef himself. “I make a beef fat butter to coat the sirloin and draw out the flavour.”

His suppliers include HG Walter in Baron’s Court for meat, Flying Fish in Cornwall and Australian chef Brett Graham, who runs The Ledbury – “the best restaurant in London, a chef’s chef” for game.

New menu

The Silver Birch launches Nathan’s’ new menu this week.

Starters

Organic celeriac, Coolea cheese, hazelnut, celeriac broth £12

Beef tartare, smoked oyster, kohlrabi sea herbs, herb cracker £15

Devon smoked eel, Jersey Royals, chive, asparagus £16

Roasted Isle of Mull scallops, heritage carrots, lardo, shellfish sauce £24

Mains

New season asparagus, pickled leek, St George £28

Guinea hen, ragout, morels, parsley pesto £32

Shetland cod, Swiss chard, chicken butter sauce £32

Lamb, wild garlic, glazed tongue, pickled cockles, sea herbs £38

Butter poached Cornish turbot, roasted white asparagus, tartare roe sauce £42

Desserts

Poached Wye Valley rhubarb, verbena mousse, meringue £10

Gariguette strawberries, cream cheese, strawberry sorbet £10

Pear & brown sugar tart, gingerbread £10

Brown butter chocolate delice, milk sorbet, caramelised white chocolate £12

Selection of English cheeses, dried fruit loaf, homemade crackers, seasonal chutney £18

The Silver Birch is a member of The Chiswick Calendar’s Club Card scheme, offering Club Card holders 20% off the a-la-carte menu during lunchtime on weekdays or a welcome cocktail/mocktail on arrival for evenings and weekend brunches. The restaurant is open for lunch Wednesday to Friday during the week.

silverbirchchiswick.co.uk

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