Behind the scenes with our Head Chef, Mauro Ferri

Growing up in a small town in Southern Italy, Mauro developed a taste for trying new things, and with a desire to pursue the creative industries, a move to Milan led him to the kitchen. Now, with 15 years’ experience as a chef – and 8 of those with Corbin & King – Mauro has taken on the reins as Head Chef at Bellanger, where he’s looking forward to developing our menu offering.

Tell us a little about yourself – did you always know you wanted to be a chef?

Where I’m from in Italy, I grew up surrounded by the sea, so we spent most of our time going to the beach and eating at restaurants.

I always knew I wanted to do something creative and originally I trained in sound engineering in Milan. While I was studying I worked in restaurants to help fund my studies, which is where I found a passion for being in the kitchen – I was inspired by the great chefs I met.

I moved over to London in 2008 to work for Marco Pierre White restaurants, and then I had the opportunity to move to Australia to work in Sydney for a year, which I loved… and when I moved back to London in 2013, I joined Colbert, which is when my journey with Corbin & King began!

You’re new to the role of Head Chef at Bellanger, what are you most looking forward to this year?

I took on the role of Head Chef in November 2021, just over two months ago now… I’m really excited to be here, and my main focus is working on refining the menu, making it special and giving customers a unique experience. Already, we are enhancing our weekly specials – and have brought back Sunday Roasts too.

Talk us through your approach to menu design – what do you think makes for a good menu?

I’m really interested in food provenance and using simple ingredients in different ways. For me, the research aspect is crucial and I actually love to do this, as I think it helps make the food we create better. I’m looking forward to bringing this experience to Bellanger and helping to evolve our offering.

Do you have a favourite dish from the Bellanger menu to prepare and eat?

I would have to say the Snails… My Mum used to cook me snails when I was a child, so it always reminds me of family and being at home, sitting around a table and sharing a simple meal together.

Escargots at Bellanger
Escargots à la Bourguignonne at Bellanger, from the All day menu

You’ve worked at Corbin & King for 8 years now – what have been your highlights so far?

It’s hard to pick out one thing, but I’ve met some beautiful people through working at Corbin & King who I’ve learnt a lot from. I’ve also had lots of opportunities for training and development, and when I was at The Delaunay there was always a real sense of achievement after finishing a huge service.

What advice would you give to anyone who wants to work in the kitchen?

If you want to be a chef, then you need to be committed and have lots of passion for food, otherwise you will not enjoy being in the kitchen!

And finally, when you’re not at Bellanger where can we find you?

Discovering new restaurants and trying new dishes. My favourite is pasta, so I’m always looking for the best places to enjoy across the city, recently I’ve enjoyed Bancone and Petersham Nurseries.

If you’re interested in working at Bellanger, take a look at our current vacancies on the Corbin & King website: