alex webb chef

Meet the chef: MasterChef winner Alex Webb at the InterContinental Park Lane

07 Feb 2023 | |By Kari Colmans

Meet the man behind the luxury hotel’s newest pop-up turned permanent haunt, starring seasonal British tasting menus

If you caught a glimpse of any of Alex Webb’s theatrical dishes on MasterChef: The Professionals back in 2020, which saw Webb execute a long line of showstoppers over the six-week run, then you won’t be surprised to learn that just two years later, he is heading up his own permanent place at one of the capital’s most sought-after locations with Alex Webb on Park Lane.

His winning TV dinner (of scallop ceviche with artichoke and pickled pear tartare; a cured pan-seared trout with a trout belly and mussel pie; and a tempered chocolate dome, bursting with parfait and a party popper of passionfruit powder and prosecco ice cream) sets the tone for what diners can expect at the InterContinental London Park Lane – one of Mayfair’s most exciting new openings.

Stand-out dishes here include a delectable beef carpaccio with pickled shimeji, pine nut purée, truffle and sourdough crouton; an Atlantic cod topped with sea herbs, an onion purée, pickled onions, crispy potato, and champagne sauce; and Lake District pork chop with pearl barley risotto, slat backed carrot, apple compote, crispy pork skin and pork jus.

Must-try sides include black winter truffle and slow-cooked butter and thyme potatoes with parmesan, while the dessert menu boasts a tonka bean and yuzu mille-feuille with clotted cream ice cream and an unctuous banana soufflé with caramel sauce, and banana ice cream. An immersive seven-course tasting menu gives the full Webb picture, from his fast-becoming signature – lobster toast with black sesame and sweet chilli jam – to an espresso martini soft whip and Instagram favourite, Alex’s Mystery box…

alex webb on park lane

The Essex-born chef started out washing pots at his local restaurant aged 14 before honing his skills in some of London’s top restaurants, including Hélène Darroze at The Connaught, Dinner by Heston, Roux at Parliament Square and The Frog in Hoxton. At his eponymous kitchen, he is taking inspiration from his childhood and travels, while championing seasonal British produce. We sat down with him to find out more.

What inspired you to be a chef?

My mum and dad. My dad was a chef for one day until he chopped his finger off… I think he made out it was more than it was! I can remember quite clearly helping to cook for dinner parties with my mum. Or at least trying to help! Professionally, I started young. At 14 I was a pot washer and helping with desserts.

What was the first meal you cooked for someone else?

My favourite dish growing up was chicken Kyiv… I loved them. But I mainly remember cooking cheese Chester biscuits at school, so I would make them at home, too.

alex webb intercontinental
What was the first career defining meal you cooked?

I think the winning dishes on MasterChef: The Professionals were important! Winning MasterChef is up there as one of the biggest highlights of my career so far – along with opening my own restaurant, of course.

What is your favourite dish on the menu at InterContinental London Park Lane?

I would say my lobster toast. The menu is inspired by British ingredients and seasons, so it’s always changing. I think it is so important for restaurants to become more sustainable and to use lesser-known products. It’s going to be one of the biggest food and restaurant trends this year.

What is your favourite thing about the foodie scene in London?

I think the fact that there is just so much on offer, so you can gain ideas from all over the world. It’s for sure the best food scene in the world and it never gets boring. I love London: eating at Trinity restaurant in Clapham and watching West Ham are my favourite things to do.

alex webb intercontinental canapes
How do you think your generation of chefs is redefining the industry?

I think chefs today are making more of what they have: trying to push boundaries and, of course, be a lot more concerned about food waste. There are lots of ways the industry can change to better itself, and I think it’s a lot about the staff, especially after Covid. Making sure they are all happy ensures a happy restaurant.

What is your advice for aspiring chefs?

Make sure you are always learning. Read lots of cook books. Watch lots of shows. And make sure to practice!

Read more: Dining at the newly-renovated Dorchester