The Escapist: Murano's head chef Pip Lacey
Pip Lacey swapped graphic design for the kitchen. We talk to her about heading up Angela Hartnett’s Michelin-starred Murano, colour, cooking and adventures in food
Published: Friday 4th August 2017
Before I moved to London to become a chef, I was working as a graphic designer. I'd been drawing, painting and developing my graphic design style since school and so I thought this was the path for me. Looking back, my heart wasn't in it and in 2008, I came to a bit of a standstill. I realised I needed more passion, more desire and the work I was doing at the time just didn't feel quite right.
At first, I didn't realise that becoming a chef was the answer. I just knew I needed a change. I moved to London, and worked at York & Albany for Gordon Ramsay, and it's where I first worked under Angela. I later moved to work with her at Murano, where I was appointed head chef.
In the kitchen, I learned I could still have artistic freedom, but with a pressure and buzz I never felt in my previous career. I still have a huge love for design, but now my paintbrush is a knife. I've taken skills such as hand-eye coordination with me from graphic design (helpful when filleting a fish or de-boning a rabbit). Colour is still important in my work, as it was in my designs. Now I picture what a dish will look like in my head – the colours and textures – before I physically create it.
The main reason I now do what I do is because of my love of food. Not simply eating, but the excitement of the many different things you can create from one ingredient – it's an endless creation. In the kitchen, every day really is an adventure.
Murano, Queen St, W1J 5PP; muranolondon.com