Flash-grilled: Tom Oldroyd

By Joe Lutrario

- Last updated on GMT

The Weekender Interview: Tom Oldroyd

Related tags: Chefs, Restaurant, Pubs

The former chef director of Polpo on dungarees, bubble tea and Doritos with mayo.

What image do you currently have on your phone’s wallpaper?
My fiance Meryl and my daughter, Freddie.

What was your first job?
Kitchen porter... in a pub.

Gordon or Marco?
Gordon. For the LOLs.

What was the last film you saw in the cinema?
Lady MacBeth. My brother, Will, directed the film and was BAFTA-nominated. I was very proud.

What is your guiltiest food pleasure?
I love red Doritos & mayo.

Where are you going on your next holiday?
We've got our hands full with the pub and the restaurant right now, but we hope to go to Greece soon. 

What industry figure do you most admire?
Jeremy King. He's got a brilliant eye for detail, and the service is always on-point in all of his restaurants.

If you weren’t in restaurants, what would you do?
Primary school teacher. Like my mum.

Biggest regret?
Not becoming a primary school teacher...?

Pet hate?
Waiters that are determined to commit a whole order to memory and joke about forgetting something. And then do forget something!

What’s the oddest thing a customer has said to you?
I was once asked to make spaghetti & ketchup for a child, or maybe when Bill Gates left a £5 tip.

Marmite: love it or hate it?
I LOVE Marmite.

Describe your cooking style in three words.
Classic. Honest. Seasoned.

What country do you next want to visit?
Mexico. Maybe when Freddie's a bit older.

Most overrated food?
The bubble tea thing.

Restaurant czar for a day – what would you implement?
Customers must arrive on time for their table. Customer no shows can really mess up a restaurant business.

What’s the worst review you’ve ever had?
A.A. Gill when we opened Ape & Bird was pretty scathing, I think.

What made you want to become a chef?
It's cliche, but I love good food, and always wanted to work in a kitchen.

What do you cook at home on your days off?
Fried egg sandwiches. 

What advice would you give someone starting out in the industry?
Work hard, and don't give up.

What single item of kitchen equipment could you not live without?
A spoon.

iPhone or Android?
iPhone.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Juliet Peston once told me, 'Always stand up for yourself' which has stuck with me.

What’s your earliest memory?
Sitting on a brown corduroy sofa, probably wearing dungarees.

Where do you go when you want to let your hair down?
Soho.

Twitter or Instagram?
Instagram.

Tipple of choice? What would you choose to eat for your last meal?

Calves liver, with onions & mashed potato, cooked by Jeremy Lee.

Related topics: People

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