Land opened in 2019 to deliver plant-focused, seasonal dining with a menu of almost entirely vegan cookery. We learn more about its journey, past and present, from the restaurant’s co-founder and head chef, Adrian Luck
Tell us about your cooking
My food takes a lot of influence from my travels. I spent five years living and travelling around Asia, so it has a big influence on my dishes. I try not to complicate things, making the most of the ingredients I can source.
How did you become a chef?
I’d always been interested in food from a young age. My interest increased from trying foods from different countries and watching cookery shows on TV. I don’t have any professional training, everything I’ve learnt has come from watching others and teaching myself.
What do you eat at home?
Mostly Asian-influenced food if I’m cooking, but I try to go out and try different restaurants as much as I can.
Who’s the best chef in the world and why? And who’s the best in Brum?
So many to choose from… I admire what René Redzepi (of Noma in Copenhagen) has been doing over the years to develop so many new ideas and techniques in cookery. As for Birmingham, I think Brad Carter’s food is top notch and he’s become a great ambassador for food in the city.
How is your restaurant adapting to the current crisis?
When we closed the second time, we started making and delivering meals around the city and further afield – we had a couple of orders going to Scotland and one to Northern Ireland! We decided to move to a smaller site, making use of the downtime to refurbish that. It turned out to be the best thing we could have done.
Share a cooking tip
Make sure you have everything ready before you start cooking (mise en place, as the French say). it will make everything go a lot smoother.
What was your favourite food as a kid?
Fish finger sandwiches.
Food heaven and food hell?
Not a massive fan of livers or kidneys and I really can’t stomach durian. Apart from those, I pretty much love to eat everything else.
What’s the most unusual thing you’ve eaten?
In South Korea, I had a dish called sannakji which is basically raw octopus, except it is cut still alive onto you plate and it continues to wriggle around for a good 10 minutes. Not easy to pick up with chopsticks either!
If you weren’t a chef, what would you be?
I began studying sound engineering and production at university before dropping out to work as a chef, so probably something to do with music.