Flash-grilled: Zaw Mahesh

By Sophie Witts contact

- Last updated on GMT

Flash-grilled: Zaw Mahesh
Burmese-born Zaw Mahesh is the co-founder and head chef at Lahpet, which relocated from Hackney to Shoreditch last year.

What was your first job?
Sales assistant at McDonalds in 2007

What is your guiltiest food pleasure?
Slow-cooked chicken liver and gizzard with lots of spices

What’s the best restaurant meal you’ve ever had?
Oblix East at The Shard

What industry figure do you most admire, and why?
Mike Bagale, ex-chef of Chicago’s Alinea, for his creativity

If you weren’t in kitchens, what would you do?
Go out eating around, possibly where fresh beer is available

What is your biggest regret?
Not being able to cook for my grandma before she passed away

Pet hate in the kitchen?
Sunday sick calls

What’s the oddest thing a customer has said to you?
‘Where is Burma?’

What’s the dish you wish you’d thought of?
Hake Masala

Describe your cooking style in three words
Serious, fun and active

Most overrated food?
Sea urchin

Restaurant dictator for a day – what would you ban?
People hanging around at work

What’s the worst review you’ve ever had?
‘Food is not as tasty as before’

If you could cook for anyone in the world who would you pick, and why?
My childhood friend who was my best buddy to eat out but never thought I would cook one day

What advice would you give someone starting out in the industry?
Don’t take too many risks but work hard and work smart

Which single item of kitchen equipment could you not live without?
Spoonula (a mix between a spoon and a spatula)

What do you cook at home on your days off?
It varies, but I love to cook seafood pasta

What’s your earliest food memory?
20-day dried pork sausage from my Chinese neighbour when I was around 7 years old

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
‘Never forget the family’

What’s the closest you’ve ever come to death?
I don’t think I’ve ever been there yet

Where do you go when you want to let your hair down?
I go for a beer with my mate who’s not in the same industry

Tipple of choice?
Old Fashioned

What would you choose to eat for your last meal?
Plain rice and milk

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