Steve Drake started cooking while attending South End Technical College. Only a few years later, he started working his way up the ladder at The Ritz and earned a prestigious Roux Scholarship. Now he cooks at Sorrel, a modern British restaurant in Dorking, Surrey.
In 2004, Steven jumped at the chance to buy his own restaurant in Ripley, a village in Surrey; the result was Drake’s, which held a Michelin star until its closure in 2016.
In addition to having a kitchen and a Michelin star of his very own, Steven had his early years to thank for one of the most impressive cooking pedigrees in the UK, if not the world – he’s worked with Marc Veyrat, Nico Ladenis, Marco Pierre White at The Oak Room, the Roux brothers and fellow British chefs Tom Aikens and William Drabble.
Now, operating at the beautiful Sorrel restaurant in Dorking, Steve Drake has his second Michelin-star, dazzling diners with what he describes as 'artisan cooking'.
The 40-cover restaurant is situated in a 300-year-old building and focuses on seasonal modern British tasting menus with multifaceted influences, shown through the complexity and imagination of his surprising concoctions which continue to surprise and delight. Like the cocoa gnocchi served with with venison, his beetroot sorbet, or one of our personal favourites, the 'Truffle explosion'.
Perhaps we are a little biased as it’s our favourite restaurant in the area, so here’s the Michelin Guide’s point of view:
“Dorking is home to this delightful restaurant, named after the chef-owner’s favourite herb. Sit on the cosy ground floor or in the intimate upstairs room, where beams divide the area into three, and a glass-walled kitchen provides a modern contrast. Having worked in the area for many years, Steve Drake understands what the locals are looking for. He has also built great relationships with the local producers and suppliers, and their seasonal ingredients form the backbone of his menus. Don’t be fooled by the simple descriptions, as these belie the complexity of the techniques used in his creative modern dishes, where flavours, textures and temperatures come together in perfect harmony. If you want to know more about how each dish was crafted, ask one of the keen young team.”
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