Restaurants bring people together. Watching people eat the food we have created is extremely satisfying, and the fantastic people I get to work with in the industry – from the veg suppliers to the kitchen porters – creates a close-knit family who all love food and socialising.
Tell us something you wish you had been told at the start of your career?
I would have appreciated a bigger focus on sustainability during my training. This is such an important part of what chefs do, and learning how to utilise everything that you buy should be one of the most important parts of the job.
What do you do in your spare time?
Aside from going out to eat with friends, I love being outdoors: walking, foraging, and cycling. Yoga is also important to me as being a chef is awful for your posture, and it helps the mind to destress after a busy service.
What’s your favourite restaurant or group of restaurants (besides your current one)?
Lahore One in Shadwell, which has the best Pakistani food in London. It’s a no-frills restaurant, but the food is always on point and the staff are all incredibly hospitable.
What would you be doing if you weren’t in restaurants?
I love making things, so probably something like carpentry.
What motivates you?
My next meal.
Where was your last holiday?
My wife and I are very conscious about flying, so we have started holidaying in the UK more often. The last place we went to was Dorset, to a retreat called Craft Camping where we stayed in a yurt in a secluded woodland, cooked outside every night over the fire and showered under the stars. They even had a wood-fired pizza oven.
Which colleague, mentor or employer has had the biggest influence on your approach to the restaurant business?
My very good friend Sylvain, the head chef of the Henrietta Hotel in Covent Garden, has had the biggest influence on me. We met at the start of our careers and have supported each other along the way. His food is incredible, and he is one of the best chefs I know.
What keeps you up at night?
Aside from my cat, I would say things I’ve forgotten to order for the next day.
Worst business decision?
Trying to put up the vinyl for Legare instead of paying a professional to do it… never attempt this!
Best business decision?
Going into business with Jay and opening Legare. We work really well together creatively, and he’s become a great friend.
What are you reading at the moment?
Philip Pullman - The Book of Dust Volume 2; The Secret Commonwealth.
What piece of advice would you give to those looking to climb the rungs in the business?
Be prepared to work a lot of hours for not a lot of money. If you don’t love it, don’t do it.
If you could change one thing about the restaurant industry today, what would it be?
I would change the attitude to wastage in the industry. I’ve been lucky enough to work for restaurants that have decent values when it comes to this, but I have also seen terrible things during trial shifts and have walked out of several as a result.