Flash-grilled: Alexis Noble

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Flash-grilled with chef Alexis Noble owner of neighbourhood-style restaurant Wander in Stoke Newington

Related tags: Chef, Australia, London, Restaurant

Australian-born chef Alexis Noble is the owner of contemporary, neighbourhood-style restaurant Wander in Stoke Newington, which opened in late 2017.

What was your first job?
I was a Christmas casual at The Body Shop when I was 16.

What is your guiltiest food pleasure?
Sandwiches. I am obsessed with sandwiches and when I’m at the airport I’m not sure if I get more excited about flying to another country or that I get to go to Pret…

What’s the best restaurant meal you’ve ever had?
Oh my gosh that’s impossible. Can I have five? Blanca in New York; The Sportsman in Kent; Lumi in Sydney; Osteria da Zi Umberto in Rome; and La Querencia in Tijuana.

What industry figure do you most admire, and why?
Maggie Beer. She’s a pioneer; her career has spanned decades, and is constantly evolving. And she has had such an influence over Australian cuisine and food manufacturing. I just think she’s an amazing business owner and an extremely classy lady.

If you weren’t in kitchens, what would you do?
Go crazy!

What is your biggest regret?
Now that I own a place it has given me a different perspective, and I think when I was young I was too critical of some of my head chef/owners.

Pet hate in the kitchen?
Labelling with anything other than a black sharpie.

What’s the oddest thing a customer has said to you?
This was a booking comment a few weeks ago, and I still don’t know what it means: “This is a booking for our friend ….. birthday. She is both easily mortified AND slightly obsessed by Alexis Noble, so this is going to be brilliant.”

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

Describe your cooking style in three words
Australian, yummy and surprising.

Most overrated food?
Katsu sando

Restaurant dictator for a day – what would you ban?
E​xcess packaging on all deliveries; an individual passionfruit does not need to be cling wrapped!

What’s the worst review you’ve ever had?
A lady once woke up on a Sunday morning after dining with us on Saturday night and wrote increasingly bad reviews on TripAdviser, Google, Facebook. What she wrote wasn’t true, but it still hurt our ratings.

If you could cook for anyone in the world who would you pick, and why?
Kanye. College Dropout was my soundtrack to dropping out of university and becoming a chef.

What advice would you give someone starting out in the industry?
Work hard in places that challenge you, be loyal, and work out your notice period.

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

What do you cook at home on your days off?
I live at the restaurant, so if I cook anything it’s pasta left over from Saturday night’s service.

What’s your earliest food memory?
Making marmalade with my mum with fruit from our citrus trees.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

What’s the closest you’ve ever come to death?
I haven’t; I’ve been extremely lucky.

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

Tipple of choice?

What would you choose to eat for your last meal?
Hand pulled noodles from Chinese Noodle Restaurant in Sydney is always my last meal before I fly.

Related topics: People, Restaurant, Profiles, Chef

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