It's not about Michelin stars
Over the course of my career, I've worked and eaten in a lot of different restaurants. Ranging from 40 cover Michelin starred, fine dining restaurants to bustling 250 cover brasseries. The top places all have great sourcing in common, which is what the Farmyard ethos is built on. As a chef, the best way I know of making sure everything we send from the kitchen tastes great is to work with quality ingredients. As a customer, I like to know that I'm spending my money on a beautiful piece of fish rather than fussy garnishes.
When I'm in the restaurant, I like to spend time speaking to our suppliers and finding out what's good now, then I train my chefs to work with fish, meat, game and veg in their natural state. My focus is 'fine produce' and not 'fine dining'.
You'll often see just three things on a plate at Farmyard. I was told as a young chef that it's not what you add to a plate but what you can take away that makes a good dish. It took a long time for the wisdom of that sentence to influence my cooking. As my style has matured and my confidence has grown, I don't feel the need to keep adding, I'd rather take a garnish off the plate and let the quality of the produce do the talking.
So now I leave foams, soils and gels to someone else and I cook for our guests, not guidebooks.