Making people happy and working with food is a privilege because we should live to eat not eat to live.
Tell us something you wish you had been told at the start of your career?
Once you make a decision move on; there is no point in agonising – focus on getting the next decision right.
What’s your favourite restaurant or group of restaurants?
Chez Bruno in Lorgues, France, is the best truffle restaurant I know. Al Boccon di Vino in Richmond is one of my favourites in London.
What motivates you?
Seeing people and businesses grow. Although I’ve seen this in my previous roles, there’s nothing like growing your own company and team, and I’m really proud of what we’ve all achieved so far at La Tua Pasta, including entirely flipping our business over the last five months as a result of the pandemic.
What keeps you up at night?
Things that are in my control that I haven’t made a decision on – things I can’t control don’t cause me to sleep badly.
Which colleague, mentor or employer has had the biggest influence on your approach to the restaurant business?
A HR director from Derbyshire that I worked with for seven years who was tough as nails; he always offered the best insights and was a huge support to me.
What time do you wake up?
6am to the Today Programme on Radio 4.
Coffee or tea?
Latte with two shots of espresso.
How often do you check your email?
Too much, I need to do this less frequently.
How do you let off steam?
Walking and spending time with my family.
Do you prefer a night on the tiles or a night on the sofa?
I love both – but given what I do now we go out a lot to see our customers. I quite like a movie night with my kids and a large bowl of truffle popcorn too, though.
What’s your signature dish to cook at home?
Tartiflette in the winter and panang curry in the summer.
Go for a walk with the kids; go swimming; putter around the garden.
What’s the most spontaneous thing you’ve ever done?
Hop in a car and drive six hours to go see one of the last Grateful Dead concerts with Jerry Garcia.
Favourite holiday destination?
Italy or France for the food and wine.
What are you currently reading?
Bad Blood – The story of Theranos.
What boxset are you currently watching?
Cathedral by the Sea.
What was your dream job growing up?
A job that that would let me travel the world.
Worst business decision?
I have made a few really bad hires in the past – bad hires are the ‘gift’ that keeps on giving because you lose time and the rest of the team becomes demotivated. I spend a lot of time ensuring we hire the right people at La Tua Pasta, not least because it means that we can achieve our goals much more quickly, but also because it’s important to me that the team is happy day to day.
Best business decision?
Quitting my consulting job in New York and moving to Nottingham to be with my then girlfriend who I met on a blind date – we then got married, had two kids and the rest is history.
What piece of advice would you give to those looking to climb the rungs in the business?
Have a great attitude and become famous for something valuable within your business – if you do well and are nice to get along with, you will progress; the cream always rises to the top.