Sam, The Brunch Chef on a Mission

When I called Sam Kingscott last Wednesday for quick afternoon chat to discuss a blog piece I wanted to write about his plans for The Common E2 kitchen in 2019 I had essentially already written the piece in my head. I was going to focus on the healthy alternatives that The Common E2 is offering and how they were kicking off the new year delivering trendy, health focused food that people thought they wanted to eat in the new year.  

As we began, I tried a number of times to lead the conversation in a direction to get the answers I wanted, all in an effort to fulfil a cookie-cutter blog post. What I was surprised and delighted to hear coming from the other end is that Sam has some incredible aspirations and his creativity isn’t guided by trends but a vision and inspiration that is clear when he talks about the dishes he and the team are working on.

Sam has been the Chef of The Common E2 for a year and a half now with momentary hiatus during that period due to sports injuries, Sam is a marathon runner. During our short call I had an opportunity to discuss how he and the team work, some of the great local suppliers they are using and also his thoughts on the brunch scene in London and his vision for The Common E2.

Sam, can you tell me about some of the healthy, clean eating menus that you’re creating for for The Common E2?

We focus on seasonal vegetables and to be honest it’s not your light clean eating options, these are warming, hearty, wintery dishes that fill people up. We always use healthy ingredients but the reason we focus on seasonal veg is so that we can offer our customers the best value for their money, when fruit and veg are in season the costs are lower, this is then passed onto our customers.  

Where/who do you source your ingredients from?

Most of our veg selection comes from Nature’s Choice a family business out of New Covent Garden Market. The veg is excellent quality and their model is sustainable priding themselves in strong relationships with their farmers and growers.

Our Meat comes from Pete Sargent at The Butchers Shop in Bethnal Green, they’re practically our neighbour. We like to joke calling him ‘Pete the Meat’, honestly he is a great guy and fixture of the community. Pete started as a butcher when he was 16 and is now 64 to say he’s a professional would be an understatement.

What makes a great brunch in your opinion?

Colour- This is underrated but it’s something that I focus on in every dish, contrasting colours are very appetising for me.

Texture- “It’s all about the feeling” this one is hard for me to describe but including a crunch with a bit of whipped cheese or they chew of a nice sourdough is something I consider with every dish.

What brunch spots do you recommend in London/ East London?

This one is hard for me as I don’t spend a lot of my time going out on my days off but one I highly recommend is ‘The Dusty Knuckle’ in Dalston they’re a bakery but do some pretty incredible brunch dishes too. They were doing this excellent potato bread that was a feature in a few dishes when I was there, they have a high attention for detail.

What can you tell us about your experience at The Common E2 or Chefing in general that works well?

I like that the freedom is there, customers are open to try and taste different things and we’re able to incorporate evening food into the brunch dishes which opens up a whole culinary juxtaposition.

London has really inspired me and I’m excited to be a part of this movement of chefs setting the bar for morning food in the city whether that is breakfast, brunch and lunch.