Published 9 November 2021
by Josh Barrie
Northampton-born chef Drew Snaith has been appointed head chef at Pidgin in Hackney. The 28-year-old spent some of last year cooking at Wild by Tart’s summer pop-up, and before that was head chef at The Conduit club.
The chef said he has been working casually at Pidgin over the last six weeks and when the position came up he “threw his hat in the ring”.
He told CODE: “I applied properly but it was a natural progression. It’s been in the works for six weeks. I know people in the kitchen and I ended up coming in to help out. Here we are.”
Snaith had been working on his own project, Nehmann, over the last year, but has put that on hold “for at least a year or two”.
“I was in talks with people about a place in Shoreditch but it fizzled out. My supper clubs went well but there’s no rush. I want to concentrate on Pidgin. It’s a great opportunity and a great restaurant.”
Snaith said he isn’t bothered by accolades, but does want to bring Pidgin back into the conversation.
“I think it’s [Pidgin] sort of fallen off the radar a bit,” he said. “It’s dropped out of the National Restaurant Awards and there’s not the same buzz about it.
“I’m going to sharpen it up a bit. The main thing is a happy kitchen and cooking some really good food. I’m not focused on winning the star back. I just want to get the restaurant back in the conversation – however that develops.
“I also want to improve on sustainability. We’ll be phasing out single-use plastics.”
Snaith will launch his first menu this week. He said Pidgin’s modern British and small plates format will stay, but he will be changing the restaurant’s style “a bit”, putting a greater emphasis on veg and showcasing lesser-known suppliers by “making more of a song and dance about them”.