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Modern Meat Cook


"Rankin does harness the elemental in cooking" Fay Maschler 

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Modern Meat Cook


"Rankin does harness the elemental in cooking" Fay Maschler 

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About Neil


About Neil


Chef, cookbook writer and renowned London restaurateur, Neil has been at the forefront of the barbecue and live fire cooking scene in London for a number of years. From Pitt Cue Co in Soho to the Smokehouse in Islington and Chiswick, Neil has been a huge creative force on the london restaurant scene and has penned many articles for the london press as well as publishing a book on meat cookery with Ebury/Random house

Neil has appeared on TV shows such as Great British menu, This Morning and is a regular face at food festivals up and down the country including Taste and Meatopia.  

 

Far from being a one-trick pony, Neil has studied classical french techniques and has cooked in many of London's Michelin starred kitchens, as well as working for events companies and neighbourhood bistros. 

Neil is currently setting up his own investment backed restaurant group in London, and is working on a number of consultancy projects in London and Europe, as well as working with London Union as their Food Boss.

Neil is available for a range of restaurant consultancy, private catering and media work. If you have any enquiries please use the links at the bottom of this page. 

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What 'they' Say


What 'they' Say


Fay Maschler

Restaurant Critic  

"The difference between Neil and other chefs is not that he comes at the job from a background in science – he is not alone in that – but that the learning is allied to a highly developed sense of enjoyment (tempered with cynicism) and relaxed immersion in the pleasures of the senses. 

     As restaurant reviewer for the London Evening Standard I knowingly first enjoyed Neil’s cooking early in 2013 at John Salt pub in Islington – he may previously have had a hand in a meal eaten at Pitt Cue Co. His inspirations, interpretations and culinary raillery are already diverting and delightful. 

     Later in the same year in his next position as head chef of Smokehouse N1 his fundamental prowess, underpinned as it is by French classical training, let loose on wood fires and smoking coals makes me conjure up in print that turning point in human evolution when Homo erectus (man) learned to control fire, thereby revolutionising nourishment and bestowing governance over the dark and its predators. It sounds dramatic - or pretentious if you prefer - but Rankin does harness the elemental in cooking, an approach that he sets at one with concern for responsible animal husbandry."

 

 

Adam Perry LAng

Legendary BBQ Chef 

"Neil has it. I use the term cook instead of chef in this instance as a compliment. It’s an important distinction.  By today’s standards, you don’t have to be a good cook to be a functioning chef. Many chefs are trained primarily as administrators/culinary technicians. Chefs have access to computers that calculate cook cycles and regulate temperatures and other technology that can monitor almost every single aspect of cooking protein. We have latex gloves, vacuum sealed bags, clipper tie bags with cook chill re-therm cycles to bring food back to life. The process aims to eliminate human error. The modern day chef has so much control, it’s hard for mistakes to happen. And while this type of chef is necessary and a tremendous asset when feeding large numbers of people fast, there can be a massive disconnect between man and meal.  So why have these sterile systems worked their way into small restaurants? I believe this phenomenon is a direct result of chefs who don’t want to cook – chefs who don’t trust their cooks to think, feel and touch the food. They want button-pressers with tweezers to churn out the predictable. Fire-cooking is unavoidably tactile, “real” cooking and Neil is one of the heroes leading the charge.  He eschews sterility and embraces flame.  He is enthusiastic and connected and has the appropriate burns and scars to prove it."

Grace Dent 

Restaurant Critic

"I’m a fan of Rankin’s work, largely — and I’m using very technical foodie jargon here — because ‘it’s good food I want to eat’. Rankin is the man who, during his time at Pitt Cue, saw me renege on my churlish quacking about ‘dude food’ and ‘no reservations’ only to join the Carnaby Street Pitt Cue bunfight on a number of occasions begging the right to eat pulled pork and bone marrow mash, off a tray, in a cellar, with no space to actually extend my elbow to feed my face. This I overlooked as, well, I don’t know what the hell he was doing to the pulled pork but it clearly involved some genre of voodoo. Later, Rankin cooked at John Salt in Islington where I have vivid memories of the entrecôte and kimchi hollandaise, and poussin with a fiery green pepper kick, and plates of chicken hash — roast potatoes that hang around orgasmically with their toes curled in chicken fat."