How Sidney Cernea, a sous chef at Dean Street Townhouse, ended up appearing alongside Bradley Cooper (pictured) in the Hollywood kitchen drama Burnt
If you’ve been to see Burnt, you may have noticed a familiar face alongside Bradley Cooper and Sienna Miller. Sidney Cernea, a sous chef from Dean Street Townhouse, also appears in the film, the story of a tortured chef chasing Michelin stars.
But unlike Cooper’s character Adam Jones, who wants to create food people don’t want to eat, Sidney wants to create food people can’t stop eating. When we meet at Dean Street Townhouse to talk films and food, he’s in the middle of a 15-hour shift but full of enthusiasm as he talks me through each cake on the plate of miniature desserts we’re presented with.
So how does a Soho House & Co chef end up starring in a Hollywood blockbuster? Through a friend, Sidney heard there was a film being made in London about a chef, and that extras were needed. “I thought, I already have the skills, I know what I’m doing, why not just go for it?” Two castings later, he landed the role – the only real-life chef to do so. On set, he was simply required him to work as he usually would in a kitchen. His professionalism impressed the director.
For his part, Sidney was impressed by how the stars captured the atmosphere of a Michelin-star kitchen. “If I wasn’t already a fan of Bradley Cooper as an actor, I am now,” he says, describing watching Cooper act out one of the films most dramatic scenes. “Michelin-star kitchens are intense. As a chef you are taught to stay quiet and obey your head chef – even if you disagree, you shout ‘yes chef’ and continue your work. I worked in a kitchen where a head chef once threw my entire section on the floor in anger.”
So does our sous chef turned film star have plans to appear in more culinary films? “Absolutely. I have already been to the next casting, I don’t know what the film is yet as it is in its early stages but it will be based around working in kitchens.” As for his career with Soho House, Cernea’s next goal is to work for Soho House Barcelona, due to open in 2016.
By Anna Louise Haigh, receptionist, 76 Dean Street