The Man Behind The Menu
The Zetter Restaurant is located at The Zetter Hotel Clerkenwell and is open Tuesday through Sunday.
To celebrate the reopening of our restaurant we wanted to dive into the mind of The Zetter Group’s head chef, Rasheed Shahin who is responsible for creating The Zetter menu.
Rasheed’s Road To The Zetter
Rasheed travelled the world as a child from the age of 5 years old until the age of 20 and moved between 4 continents.
At the age of 14 he moved to Jordan to live with his aunt and uncle, knew no Arabic, and went to a private school. Rasheed was not enthralled by academics and therefore was struggling at school. A tutor, half Arabic and half German, who supported him, introduced him to hospitality, and Rasheed’s career began.
He started in the front of house, as a part time waiter, and began doing an NVQ L1 in hospitality. After two years in Jordan, the Hyatt sent Rasheed over to Dubai for their new opening, this was due to both his work ethic and English speaking skills.
During his time in Dubai, Rasheed moved to the Sheraton whilst also studying. This led to a shift from waitering to the kitchen, where he learned the core of everything he now knows.
At the ripe age of 18, Rasheed returned to London. He was unsure of what he wanted to do, and set up a trial shift at the Ivy Caprice group. Upon arrival at the trial shift, he was sceptical, tried to get out of the shift by claiming he had forgotten his chef’s whites. The head chef didn’t let him leave, made him stay for the shift & provided him with whites. Not only did Rasheed do his trial shift, he also ended up staying for the rest of the evening to assist with dinner service of over 200 covers!
Throughout his career Rasheed has worked with some of the biggest names in the industry and between some of the most renowned establishments varying from Ivy Caprice holdings to Home House.
Favourite Food Memory
Resheed’s favorite memory of food was at 14 years old, moving to the middle east, the culture is different, the cuisine, the aromas, the time, the experience in the kitchen was a completely different concept. Regardless of whether one is cooking a feast or for a small family, the aromas are noticeable from such a distance that one instinctively knows something is being made.
Rasheed’s All Time Favourite Dish
When asked his favourite dish, Rasheed replied with Upside down, Metloube, a middle-eastern dish. Rasheed cheekily admits, although it is his favourite dish, he cannot make it! So wherever in the world this is being cooked, Rasheed must be invited to consume.
Rasheed’s Vision For The Future Of Food
Rasheed believes that the most important thing, with everything happening and how fast paced everything is, is sustainability and food waste. The future of food will always evolve due to trends, even though in the last 20 years food trends have really erupted,from michelin star to gastro-dining, the trends always seem to repeat themselves. The core will always remain the same, it’s just the evolution of the way the core products are created, moving more into plant based produce and sustainability.
Where Did Rasheed’s Menu Inspiration Come From?
When asked where his creativity and vision came from for the menu Rasheed replied with “Growing up in the industry you learn from your seniors and the people you inspire to be. When one finds themself in the role of head chef, there is a lot of drive, enthusiasm and ideas, but there comes a stage where it is a self search.One needs to use themself as a canvas for creation, thereby always finding motivation to push & strive to do more. Creativity is harder, you look back at what you’ve done and figure out how to evolve this. It plays on your motivation, the harder it becomes the more inclined you are to push yourself and achieve more.”
Rasheed’s Favourite Dish on the Menu
Rasheed’s favourite menu item is the short rib, it’s a process to create, slow cooking, deboning then pressing, with the accompaniments including caramelized beetroots & shallots, celeriac puree, brussel sprouts and slaw, making for the perfect meal.
One Dish a Menu Should Never Be Printed Without
“Depending on the seasons, there should always be a steak on the menu, varying from a chateaubriand to a fillet. It makes a menu, the classic that never fails.” This is due to Rasheed being a meat lover.
Experience the wonders of The Zetter menu for yourself. Book below and join us for a dining experience you’ll never forget.