Flash-grilled: Manu Canales

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Photo credit: Justin De Souza
Photo credit: Justin De Souza

Related tags: Chef, Manu Canales, Le Bab

The chef behind Le Bab, which has just launched a late-night kebab shop on London's Old Street, on his admiration for Keith Floyd, and once being mauled by a bull.

What was your first industry job?
Kitchen porter at a tiny café in South Dublin.

If you weren’t in kitchens, what would you do?
Explorer or adventurer, I am very curious by nature and I love discovering new places.

What industry figure do you most admire, and why?
Keith Floyd, you just got to love the chap, his charm and passion for food and booze, legend.

Pet hate in the kitchen?
Dirty and messy chefs.

What’s the oddest thing a customer has said to you?
"Can I touch your hair?"

Sum up your cooking style in a single sentence…
I genuinely don’t know, I don't like to label myself. I would like to think, though, that the food I cook is creative and tasty.

What’s the worst review you’ve ever had?
I think worse than the content is the way that is delivered, probably from people close to me who have been not very thoughtful or open minded.

Which single item of kitchen equipment could you not live without?
A good silicone spatula, so you don’t miss a single bit when you are moving a preparation from one container to another.

What would you choose to eat for your last meal?
Ibérico ham, probably a whole one.

Favourite fast food joint?
Shake Shack.

MasterChef or Great British Menu?
GBM.

Who would your dream dinner party guests be?
Keith Floyd, and join after pudding for some drinks and stories

What’s your earliest food memory?
Eating yogurt at the nursery.

What’s the closest you’ve ever come to death?
Twice I think, bike crash and mauled by a bull.

What advice would you give someone starting out in the industry?
Do it if it is truly your passion, focus on your skills, training and team work. Professional and personal development.

Related topics: Chef, People, Profiles

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