Blunt Inquiry | Charlotte Langley, Scout Canning
Someone who shares your love of all things canned.
December 2, 2016
Blunt Inquiry is an ongoing questionnaire series put forth by the creator of those aprons you covet on a deeply stylish level of your soul (Bluntroll, obviously): the one and only Tanya Kelly. We'll be publishing her choice entries from now until eternity! Today's hot seat is occupied by Chef Charlotte Langley, the unstoppable mind behind Scout Canning.
What is your idea of a perfect restaurant?
The moment you walk in, you feel at home.
What is your greatest fear at work?
Being a human.
Which working chef do you most admire?
Any of them that work within reason for a passionate sake.
What part of work ‘you’ do you most deplore in yourself?
Constant self-abuse and end-game obsession.
What would instantly make you fire someone?
Applied chosen ignorance.
What was your most extravagant purchase for your restaurant?
Gold leaf and powder to shake over the guests while I fed them foie and bone marrow.
What is your favorite food journey?
The one I am on right now. It’s changed, evolved. Before, it was just passion and flavors and explosions. Now, it's thoughtfulness and maybe something like peer meditation between ingredients… does that make sense even?
What words or phrases do you most overuse at work?
Sexy. It's more physical gestures than words actually. The gentle tap as you move behind someone instead of saying ‘behind.' When you reach for a pan that is below or beside someone, the gentle finger slide letting them know you are coming into that space…as I write this, I sound like a pervert.
What do you regret most after all your years in the business?
Being too scared to have my own place.
What do you love most about this industry?
The awkward, gypsy-style passion-fueled family that stretches and reaches all over the world (yes, dramatic, but you get what I mean).
What is your current state of mind?
If you could change anything about the restaurant industry where you are, what would it be?
What do you consider your most essential ingredient?
The work/life balance struggle is real. How good of a juggler are you? Tips?
My work life and social life have become one. I think I manage ok…… I can always do better! Take 30 minutes a week, if not more, to touch base and think about people you love and care for and want to high-five or kiss or whatever and say hello.
What is your most treasured kitchen tool?
A small green knife from a wise lady.
What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
Realizing there is no end-game when the plan you started working on carried a hint of it, such a tease.
When you finally retire, were will you live?
What is your most marked characteristic?
I would say... being a serious fool.
What is the quality you most like in a chef?
Living in black and white, versus grey.
What is your greatest inspiration/motivation?
All the loves of my life, primarily people, lovers, and friends.
Superman or Spiderman?
If this is a sexy question, I would say Superman.
Beck or Clapton?
You have to cook Escoffier’s death row meal. Menu?
Champagne, oysters, cucumbers from my garden with vinegar and tarragon, roast chicken with super soft new potatoes in butter, chunks of hard wheat bread with soft cheese and honey, smoked mackerel straight off the fire with lemon, apiece of meat on the bone, roasted slow and sliced very thin, lots of mustards and oils and tomatoes tossed in not much else, a hamburger with cheese, nothing for dessert — wait, more champagne, and a Negroni in bed.
Favourite kitchen word or phrase?
"Touch this plate like you would touch the person you love."