To be awarded a Michelin star is the dream of many chefs. So it’s remarkable when this happens to someone who set out in his career intending to be an engineer.
This is what I discovered when I met Segi Sanz, head chef at Ametsa with Arzak Instruction, the oddly names restaurant located inside The Halkin Hotel in Belgravia. He didn’t take up cooking professionally until he was twenty-five, after having completed a degree in engineering in Barcelona. Cooking was really what he wanted to do all along, he told me, but engineering had seemed a safer option.
Having worked with the legendary Ferran Adria in Seville, his opportunity to move to The Halkin came about after he spent time in the kitchen with the Arzak’s at their Michelin three-star restaurant in San Sebastian.
The restaurant received a Michelin star in 2014, just months after opening and on the back of some very mixed reviews from food critics who were unimpressed by its modern and experimental take on Basque cuisine. The only other Spanish restaurant in London with a Michelin star is Barrafina.
Sergi, a modest and unassuming chef, is now aiming for a second star.