Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Shuli Wimer and I’ve just joined Farmer J as executive chef of The Fancy Fork on King William St.
Tell us about The Fancy Fork
It’s Farmer J’s new evening offering. I’ve created a menu championing the best of the season’s produce, inspired by Middle Eastern and Mediterranean flavours. I grew up in Israel and have worked in Tel Aviv, before moving to London and joining The River Café – you can see those influences throughout my menu.
What food makes you happy and why?
Ice cream is my go-to happy food. I have a really sweet tooth and find comfort in the cold, creamy texture, whatever the weather.
You come home drunk and hungry – what do you cook?
I don’t tend to come home drunk but if I did, I would rustle up a cheese, tomato and basil sandwich. Simple but delicious.
What’s the strangest encounter you’ve had in your restaurant?
During my time at the River Cafe, a truck full of fifty Christmas trees arrived for a guest’s 50th private birthday. That was difficult to wrap your head around.
What’s your earliest food memory?
When I was four years old, my mother (who raised us vegan) made me an amazing cake in the shape of a train. It was totally unexpected as she normally only ever cooked fruit and vegetables.
Tell us about the best meal you ever had
My first meal at the River Café. As soon as I’d finished I went over to the head chef and applied for a job. I ended up staying for five years – it was a life changing lunch.
What’s your favourite dish?
Jewish chicken soup is my all time favourite dish. It’s been with me from childhood as both sides of my family originated from Eastern Europe. It’s best served with noodles and lots of fresh dill.
What’s the worst thing you’ve ever put in your mouth?
I was once in a market in Barcelona and I asked to try some uncooked salt cod before I actually knew what it was. It was awful! The taste was in my mouth for hours and hours.
What do most people get wrong when cooking?
A lot of people are afraid of using salt. It actually brings the flavours together and makes them stronger – salt is the key ingredient to make food taste good.
What should everyone have in their kitchen cupboard?
Flour. You can start cooking anything with flour and water, even if your fridge is nearly empty.
What’s the best thing about the London food scene?
Londoners are very open minded about new food and always willing to try new things. I was surprised at how adventurous they were when I first moved here.
You’re mayor for a day – what food law would you introduce?
I would get rid of plastic covers on foods, especially in the fruit and veg aisle. I want to be able to take my pick – please let me buy three yellow peppers, not one of each colour!
• To book go to farmerj.com, call 020 7621 1850 or pop in to 24/32 King William St, EC4R 9AT