Ten Minutes with Chef Aaron Dalton | Founder of the FOUR pop up series

Having started his culinary journey at Brighton tech, Aaron moved to London and worked his way up through a number of Michelin starred restaurants including ‘Chez Bruce’ & ‘Fera’ whilst also gaining experience with renowned chefs like Marcus Wareing and Oliver Dabbous.

Next on the cards was the Head Chef position at ‘Smoking Goat’, Soho which gained the accolade of 55th best restaurant in England before he returning to Brighton in 2016 to develop his own business the FOUR pop up series.

“The FOUR pop-up series is Aaron’s opportunity to share his talent and experience with real foodies.”


Can you introduce FOUR to us…

Four is a series of popups that have been running since December 2016.  I cook taster menus of at least 5 courses which always includes homemade bread and seasonal produce.  I like to play around with different flavours and techniques but my main passion is cooking over fire which has become quite fashionable recently, but I have been doing it for some years.  I always include that element in my menus, either over a yakitori bbq or smoker.

What made you go into pop-ups?

I moved back to Brighton from London and had done my time cooking for other people and wanted to develop my own style to understand what and how I wanted to cook.  Popups were the best way to build up a following without the financial strain of opening a restaurant.  No one knew me in Brighton or knew anything about my cooking, so I had to work to get my name known.  I have also had two children since I started doing popups, so I wouldn’t have been able to commit myself to a restaurant.

aaron dalton four pop up series

What’s been your biggest career highlight to date?

I have had career highlights and accolades whilst working for other people, but the highlight so far has been cooking my own food.  Being able to decide what goes on a menu and how its cooked and seeing people enjoy eating food that I created, surpasses any award.

Most challenging part of your career to date/ any time you felt like giving up?

I recently came close to opening a restaurant and it fell through at the last minute,  I took a break after that and I questioned whether I wanted to continue.

aaron dalton four pop up series
Where do you see yourself in three years time?

Hopefully with my own restaurant, that’s the dream.

Best piece of advice you have ever been given?

Enthusiasm is the answer to all questions.

Dream restaurant location if money was not an object?

In the countryside with land to grow my own produce and be eco friendly and self-sufficient.

aaron dalton four pop up series
Your biggest piece of advice to any chef starting their career?

Stay as low as possible for as long as possible.

aaron dalton four pop up series

Quick fire round..

Favourite spot for coffee in Brighton?

Small Batch.

Favourite place for a ‘slap-up’ meal (anywhere in the world)?

Gokyuzu in Green Lanes

Chef you look up to the most?

Daniel Humm

A dish you’re currently loving.

Pan-fried fresh mackerel

Favourite season for cooking?


To find out more about the FOUR pop up series or to book onto their next date – visit the website here.

See our latest Ten Minute feature with Rachel Knowles, founder of Silly Moo Cider here.