Position: Our Top Chef (The man behind the menus)
1. What was your first ever job?
When I was 12, I used to work in my Dad’s butchers shop. I used to get up at 3am on Saturday morning, sleep on the way and then spend the day making sausages and burgers – I was paid a penny a burger!
2. What (or whom) is your inspiration?
The first kitchen job I had was in a country pub as a pot washer and I used to watch the guy who used to cook all the pies, chicken kievs, grills etc. He took me under his wing and after school I used to go there and he showed me how to make lasagnes. One day one of the chefs cut his finger so I stepped up and have been a chef ever since.
3. Where is your favourite place in the world and why?
Barbados. I met my wife there and had the best time of my life. It was the first time I had money in my pocket. When I used to finish work in England at 11pm, everywhere was shut but in Barbados the night was still young! I made loads of great friends and spent nearly 5 years of my life there.
4. Where is your favourite place to eat in London?
There’s a small gastro pub called Duke of Sussex in Chiswick. They offer Anglo-Spanish cuisine – good, simple food and good pint.
5. What’s your favourite cookbook?
Arabesque by Greg Malouf – it’s full of the kind of food that I’m used to doing – Middle Eastern and European flavours with a twist and only about 3 components = nothing too fancy.
6. What ingredient should everyone have in their kitchen cupboard?
Sweet smoked paprika – it has a nice smoky flavour, and goes great with any meat.
7. What piece of equipment should everyone have in their kitchen at home?
A Kitchen Aid! I have the cream one.
8. Who would you invite to your dream dinner party and what would you cook?
I have them every weekend with my family. I like to go to the local butchers and green grocers and get inspired by what’s in season. I also do like making a good Yorkshire pudding.
9. What is your favourite thing to do outside of work?
Go to the park with my kids.
10. What is your greatest achievement?
Being headhunted to go to the Caribbean where I went to open a restaurant. I then became a chef for a 5* hotel over there.