Flash-grilled: Michael Carr

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Flash-grilled with former Gordon Ramsay Group alumnus and Fenchurch Restaurant at Sky Garden head chef Michael Carr

Related tags: Chef, Restaurant

The former Gordon Ramsay Group alumnus, who now oversees the stoves of Fenchurch Restaurant at Sky Garden, on childhood Christmas dinners, working in pubs, and his love of Sunday Brunch.

What was your first industry job?
My first job in the industry was at my local pub, age 14, where I began my career running food as a waiter and pot washing after services. It is how so many chefs start out, and I think it is a great way to understand the whole operation of a restaurant and see how both back and front of house come together to create a complete experience for guests. 

If you weren’t in kitchens, what would you do?
I’d escape the city and probably be a beach bum and go surfing. I’d live somewhere that’s hot all year round and stay in a beach hut.

What industry figure do you most admire, and why?
I really admire the Sunday Brunch boys, Simon Rimmer and Tim Lovejoy. It’s a great show about good food and good times and that’s what the industry should reflect.

Pet hate in the kitchen?
When it’s messy and people aren’t listening.

What’s the oddest thing a customer has said to you?
The oddest thing a customer has ever asked me is if I could come and cook at their house just wearing an apron…I declined!

Sum up your cooking style in a single sentence…
Flavour driven cuisine that uses simple ingredients with style and sexy touches.

What’s the worst review you’ve ever had?
Once, on Tripadvisor, I had someone say my food was inedible and that I should stop dreaming!

What advice would you give someone starting out in the industry?
Use your heart to cook and your head to take care of yourself in and out of the workplace. Stay focused and dream big, never stop learning and put yourself in environments that test you every second of everyday.

Which single item of kitchen equipment could you not live without?
A Vita prep blender or my spoon.

What would you choose to eat for your last meal?
Burger and lobster! It’s awesome! 

MasterChef or Great British Menu?

Favourite food and drink pairing?
KFC and Negroni.

What’s the closest you’ve ever come to death?
I was surfing in France and nearly drowned on a lads holiday. 

What’s your earliest food memory?
One of my earliest good memories is sitting around my family table and watching my grandpa carving the Christmas turkey and then returning to his cigar next to the fire... he was a legend!

Where do you go when you want to let your hair down?
Prawn on the Lawn in Padstow because It’s just super cool and serves easy tasty food. It’s also a bonus that it’s in my favourite place. 

Related topics: People, Restaurant, Profiles, Chef

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