What was your first job?
I had two paper rounds and a milk round whilst at school, then a Saturday job at Primark from the age of fourteen. At 16 years old, following a two-day trial at Frederick’s in Islington took my first cooking job at Claridges Hotel.
What is your guiltiest food pleasure?
Ortiz anchovies: I'm guilty only by the volume I consume.
What’s the best restaurant meal you’ve ever had?
My wife saved up to take me to the Hyde Park Hotel where Marco was cooking many moons ago. I can still recall every detail of that meal. Annoyingly so can she…
What industry figure do you most admire, and why?
There are so many brilliant and influential people in this industry. It’s hard to ignore the impact Thomas Kochs has had on the London hotel and restaurant scene.
If you weren’t in kitchens, what would you do?
I would go fishing.
What is your biggest regret?
Not having worked in a three-star in France
Pet hate in the kitchen?
I dislike seeing a lack of progression in chefs.
What’s the oddest thing a customer has said to you?
Can I pay tomorrow?
What’s the dish you wish you’d thought of?
Describe your cooking style in three words
Refined, classical gastronomy.
Most overrated food?
Restaurant dictator for a day – what would you ban?
I would attribute industry accolades and awards based also on the health of balance sheet and ability to sustain a robust business.
What’s the worst review you’ve ever had?
Trinity has never had a poor review.
If you could cook for anyone in the world who would you pick, and why?
My family. I cook better for people I love.
What advice would you give someone starting out in the industry?
Do not undervalue the mastering of core skills.
Which single item of kitchen equipment could you not live without?
Cooking would be very clumsy without knives.
What do you cook at home on your days off?
I often test dishes at home so we eat rather well; last night we ate saddle of hare with swede and prunes, followed by the best piece of Comte I have ever tried from Androuet Cheese Shop.
What’s your earliest food memory?
Eating artichokes on my French exchange whilst at secondary school, a turning point for me. I didn’t want to leave, I’m fact I’m not sure I ever did.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Be better today then you were yesterday. It rarely happens.
What’s the closest you’ve ever come to death?
I had a spontaneous pneumothorax in 2009, not recommended.
Where do you go when you want to let your hair down?
I tend to go fishing. If I need to escape I go fishing abroad.
Tipple of choice?
Gevrey Chambertin and rarely a tipple.
What would you choose to eat for your last meal?
Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe.