14 Sep Opening of Humo
From time to time, we work on a recruitment project with people that leaves a lasting impression on you. Working with Chef Miller Prada on the opening of Humo was one of those times.
Humo is a new Mayfair restaurant that has opened in place of the former Wild Honey location near Hanover Square.
Conversations between us started over 2 years ago but this enabled us to share the vision and passion that Miller had for the opening.
It felt right that we caught up with Miller 7 months after Humo opened to share his story and the journey so far.
Miller’s Path to Success
Miller’s culinary adventure began in the most heart-warming and unexpected way – with his grandmother’s insistence on early Sunday morning breakfast preparations. As a young boy, he would have much preferred a few extra hours of sleep, but little did he know that these early morning cooking sessions would lay the foundation for his future career.
However, it wasn’t until chef Miller Prada decided to embark on a journey of exploration and self-discovery that his passion for cooking truly blossomed. Inspired by pictures of cool tattooed Australian chefs, he set his sights on the land down under, specifically Sydney, where he found himself in the heart of a thriving culinary scene.
In Sydney, Miller honed his skills in various kitchens, gaining valuable experience and insights into the world of professional cooking.
Miller’s wanderlust led him to traverse the globe, gaining culinary knowledge and inspiration from diverse cultures and cuisines. However, it was at The Ledbury where he encountered the most intense, exciting periods of his career. At the time it held 2 Michelin stars and was in the top 50 restaurants in the World!
Miller found a mentor in Michelin-starred Endo Kazutoshi, a third-generation Sushi master, and spent the next 9 years working alongside him. This helped shape his skills and culinary philosophy and also taught him how to look after and nurture a team of chefs.
The Opening of Humo
Humo is the culmination of Miller’s culinary journey, a place where all his passions and techniques converge. With the support of Misha Zelman, Endo-San and the Creative Restaurant Group, they have created something extraordinary.
Alongside Humo, the Creative Restaurant Group also runs other restaurants such as Endo at the Rotunda and the beloved sushi spot, Sumi, in Notting Hill.
His aim was never to try and replicate Endo’s style but to focus on using the finest ingredients available and understanding the essence of each element, from the wine list to the wood that they use to cook everything over. Wood, in particular, plays a significant role in the cuisine at Humo. Miller has a deep-rooted fascination with cooking over open flames, dating back to his childhood when he enjoyed building fires. It’s this love for the challenge of wood-fired cooking that has become a cornerstone of Humo’s identity.
Chef Miller encapsulates his approach to cooking with wood fire in a simple statement: “You don’t control the fire; it lets you work with it.” This philosophy drives his culinary creations and shapes the unique dining experience at Humo.
Anyone who likes gazing at the flickering fire or watching food cook can enjoy these simple pleasures at Humo. At Humo, you can relax in a stylish setting where a cosy counter encircles a custom-made four-metre-long grill, using different types of wood like French oak, cherry, walnut, and beech to enhance the food’s flavours.
If you prefer a more private dining experience, there are also tables scattered around the room. Additionally, on the lower ground floor, there’s a chef’s table that can accommodate ten guests, perfect for private dinners, tastings, and exclusive events.
One of the secrets to Miller’s success is his approach to leading and nurturing his team. He believes in sharing his vision and dreams, allowing them to contribute their own experiences and perspectives. As a result, 100% of his team remains with him, a testament to the supportive and collaborative atmosphere he has fostered.
In terms of food, everything at Humo is personally sourced by Miller and his team, ensuring the highest quality and a deep connection to each ingredient. The a la carte menu at Humo is ever-evolving, with micro-seasonal changes that keep diners excited and engaged.
Having been awarded No. 64 already at this year’s National Restaurant Awards, we get the feeling this is just the beginning of the success of Humo and the whole team behind it.
We always love to hear other people’s approaches when it comes to recruitment.
Miller shared his top tips with us on recruiting and looking after a team:
Recruit for Attitude, Not Experience: Look for team members with the right attitude and a genuine passion for the craft.
Nurture Passion: Encourage and foster the passion your team members have for their work.
Create a Safe and High-Standard Environment: Establish a safe and supportive work environment with exceptional quality standards.
Fair Compensation: Pay your team a fair wage, recognising the cost of living in your area and paying accordingly.
Respect and Kindness: Treat your team members with respect and kindness, fostering a positive and inclusive atmosphere.
Empower Responsibility: Allow team members to take ownership of their roles and responsibilities.
In conclusion, Miller’s journey from his grandmother’s kitchen to the opening of Humo is a testament to his passion. The philosophy of working with smoke and fire rather than more controllable cooking methods has ignited a culinary sensation that continues to captivate diners at Humo. It’s a story of culinary dreams fulfilled and a reminder that the most authentic and meaningful journeys often start with the simplest of beginnings.
Humo and the team deliver a unique and inspiring fine dining experience.