The Weekender Interview: Sam Clark

By Joe Lutrario contact

- Last updated on GMT

Moro's Sam Clark

Related tags: Culinary art, Cooking

Sam Clark founded Moro with husband Sam in 1997. The pair have penned several bestselling cookbooks and now operate two smaller Morito tapas restaurants alongside their Exmouth Market flagship.

What image do you currently have on your phone’s wallpaper?
The painting of Young Woman Peeling Apples by Nicolaes Maes from the Metropolitan museum, New York

What was your first job?
Working as a waitress at Wimbledon. I used to do this every summer when I was young. My first proper chef job was at The Eagle in Farringdon.

Gordon or Marco?
Marco. I haven’t actually eaten at any of Gordon’s restaurants yet.

What was the last film you saw in the cinema?
Early Man with my seven year old son.

What is your guiltiest food pleasure?
Quavers.

Where are you going on your next holiday?
I’m actually in Seville with Samuel (husband and Moro co-founder) at the moment. 

What industry figure do you most admire (and why)?
Rose Gray from The River Café. She was a very special lady and was a great inspiration to me since starting my career when I cooked with her at The River Cafe. She was one of the first big female chefs and was a wonderful teacher - she taught me a great deal.

If you weren’t in restaurants, what would you do?
I’d be a doctor working in A&E.

Biggest regret?
I wish I travelled the world as a chef before I properly started my career in London. I’d highly recommend for all young chefs starting out to do this.

Pet hate?
Clutter.

Marmite: love it or hate it?
Love it.

Describe your cooking style in three words
Rustic. Flavoursome. Authentic.

What country do you next want to visit?
Uzbekistan.

Most overrated food?
Doughnuts.

Restaurant czar for a day – what would you implement?
That all the staff have a positive can-do attitude.

What’s the worst review you’ve ever had?
Our worst review was probably from Janet Street Porter in the early days just after we opened in the late 90s. We’ve now won her over and she’s become a Moro regular. We’re lucky enough not to have much negativity since then.

What made you want to become a chef?
I fell in to it. I walked through the door at the Eagle in Farringdon and started cooking in the kitchen. After a few months, I realised that I loved it and it just felt right.

What do you cook at home on your days off?
Sometimes nothing. But often we cook homemade fresh pasta.

What advice would you give someone starting out in the industry?
You must have a real passion for cooking to become a successful chef. The industry is hard. 

Which single item of kitchen equipment could you not live without?
My turning knife.

iPhone or Android?
iPhone.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Things will either work, or they won’t work.

What’s your earliest memory?
Sitting in a playground aged about three.

Where do you go when you want to let your hair down?
Spain. We have a house just outside Seville so we go there quite often with the kids. 

Twitter or Instagram?
Instagram.

Tipple of choice?
Campari and fresh orange or grapefruit juice.

What would you choose to eat for your last meal?
Roast chicken with all the trimmings.

Related topics: People

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