Chef's Choices : Jess Filbey

Chef's Choices : Jess Filbey
Chef's Choices : Jess Filbey

Photo: Matthew Donaldson

When Jess Filbey considered applying for her first restaurant job—after having graduated from Leiths School of Food and Wine—she needed to look no further than her mother’s shelf of River Cafe cookbooks.

Jess has now been with The River Cafe for five years.

“I’d always been daunted by restaurant kitchens—but it really is like a family here—everyone is so warm and welcoming, and what’s best as a young chef, is the experienced chefs want to teach you.”

She also cherishes daily access to quality ingredients, while working in an open kitchen flooded with sunlight from the river.

“I think it’s so amazing,” she says, “that I’m paid to do something I love so much.”

And what River Cafe dishes does she love? 

“Devon Crab Spaghetti is my all-time favourite, everyone has their version, but we do ours with fennel seed, dried chilli, Sicilian lemon and River Cafe olive oil. I just love it—it reminds me of being on holiday, especially when paired with a nice crisp white wine.”

“And for dessert? Lemon, Almond and Polenta cake. My mum used to make it when I was little. It’s light and summery, but the polenta gives it a slightly coarse texture. Serve it with blood oranges and crème fraîche. It’s an absolute winner.”

You can order the Devon Crab Spaghetti and Lemon, Almond and Polenta Cake for home delivery right now from Shop The River Cafe.

Devon Crab Spaghetti
Lemon, Almond and Polenta Cake
Verdicchio Classico Riserva, Villa Bucci 2017
To go with the crab, Jess chooses the Villa Bucci, a rich, savoury style of Verdicchio from one of Le Marche’s most prominent winemaking families.
Iittala Saucepan 5lt
As a chef working at The River Cafe, a strong stainless steel saucepan is one of Jess' essentials in the kitchen. 

Explore more

Share this