In Isolation with Michael Lipscombe, Executive Chef at the 5-Star Elysium Hotel




April 2020

Michael Lipscombe arrived at the Elysium Hotel in Paphos in January 2019 to take up the position of Executive Chef. He relocated to Cyprus with his Cypriot wife and two children after an impressive professional career in the UK. Lipscombe knew from a very early age that he wanted to be a chef and applied at the young age of 16 for a job at London’s leading restaurant, The Ivy. He went on to work with some of the top names in the industry including Raymond Brown, Gary Rhodes, Jason Atherton and Albert Roux. “Chef Albert Roux is certainly the most terrifying person you can cook for but luckily when I have cooked for him, he has only ever been complimentary,” says Lipscombe. Through an associate in the industry, he was recommended for his current position at The Elysium. Today he leads a team of 65 in the kitchens covering all the restaurants at this 5-star hotel, with their sole aim to further grow their reputation for excellent fine dining.

Where are you spending Isolation and who with? Any pets?

I am spending Isolation with my wife Ester and my 10-year-old twins Enya and Emre at our home in Peyia. We have two bulldogs called Brandy and Kola.

How are you coping with Isolation? How are you staying busy?

If I’m honest, I’m going out of my mind with not being able to do much. My whole working life I have worked 14-16-hour days. I find myself at every opportunity taking something to the bin to get out! We are also homeschooling the twins; this fills some of our days.

What is positive about being in Isolation?

I was explaining to my children this week, that at no point in our lifetime has this ever happened nor can I ever see this happening again where the whole world shuts down. It gives us, like so many other families around the world, a chance to spend quality time as a family and to make some exceptional memories… every cloud has a silver lining!

What is negative about being in Isolation?

I had been talking with the 3 Michelin starred chef Albert Roux, and due to my relationship with him, we were planning for him to come and make a collaboration dinner at Elysium. It would have been a very, very special evening and a significant coup for Cyprus to have such an influential chef cooking here alongside my team. For the guests of Elysium, it would be an incredible experience to say that Albert Roux has cooked for them! I will try to rearrange this in the future.

Are you cooking and if so, share your favourite dish?

I have been making lots and lots of bread and enjoying making sourdoughs! I have been making bread for every meal, homemade burgers last week for which I also made the buns, ciabattas for lunch, and focaccia with our bolognese. I also cooked some stunning beef short ribs which I got from Butcher Boy. I brined them in a 10% brine for 24 hours, then marinaded, then in a dry rub for 48 hours, before slow cooking them for 5 hours. We had them with celeriac Remoulade and tomato rice. I also did Shah Pilaff, which is a Persian dish, filled with braised lamb and fruits. I’m cooking a lot and posting updates to my Instagram page. If people need some inspiration, please feel free to take a look on my page: @Chef_sta_gram    

What have you been watching to pass the time? Can you recommend any films/series?  

I have been watching a lot on Netflix. ‘The Trails of Gabriel Fernandez’ is an incredibly sad documentary, ‘Tiger King’, and a lot of Ramsey Kitchen Nightmares. Some of the kitchens are absolutely shocking in that show!

What have you been listening to in terms of music? Can you recommend an album? 

I love R&B music and listening to Boyz II Men, John Legend and Maxwell. I really like James Arthur’s music at the moment. 

When things get back to normal, what are you looking forward to the most?

Going for lunch at Viklari.  I love the simplicity of what they do, incredible views and a nice cold KEO! And of course, going back to work. I have so many new ideas and work methods that I want to implement with our incredible new kitchens and our Chef’s Table in the kitchen. Although I think this year will be extremely challenging in terms of tourism for the island, I do believe the hospitality and warmth of Cypriot culture will shine through, and we will be as strong as ever.

Short Interview by Cyprus in Style Magazine. Join our Facebook network to stay updated at @CyprusinStyle.

Michael was awarded ‘From the Chef’s Table’ by Cyprus in Style Magazine. Read the FULL Article & Recipe Here.