Flash-grilled: Daniel Calvert

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Flash-grilled: Daniel Calvert British chef who recently launched his new restaurant Sézanne at the Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Marunouchi

Related tags: Chef

The British chef, who recently launched his new restaurant Sézanne at the Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Marunouchi, on the industry figure he most admires, and the worst review he's ever had.

What was your first industry job?
I worked at a pub called The Royal Oak in Woking as a pot washer.  

If you weren’t in kitchens, what would you do?
Probably a stock broker. I think I’d enjoy the adrenaline rush and they make a lot more money than chefs!

What industry figure do you most admire, and why?
Nigel Slater. Every time I read one of his articles or books my mouth waters. If Sunday afternoons were a person it would be Nigel.

Pet hate in the kitchen?
When people don’t put things back where they belong.

What’s the oddest thing a customer has said to you?
A guest once asked why we didn’t serve French fries seeing as were a French restaurant.

Sum up your cooking style in a single sentence…
Simple ideas, excellent produce and correct execution.

What’s the worst review you’ve ever had?
Someone took a photo of one of my dishes and posted it on Instagram with the caption ‘disgusting’. I gave it a like, of course.

What advice would you give someone starting out in the industry?
Cooks should focus on their repertoire before their profile.

Which single item of kitchen equipment could you not live without?
I feel lost without my ceramic pot. It’s where I keep my spoons, pallet knife, tweezers etc.

What would you choose to eat for your last meal?
Congee from The Chairman in Hong Kong.

Favourite fast-food joint?
Shake Shack.

Most overrated food?
Durian.

Who would your dream dinner party guests be?
Nigel Slater, David Thompson and Alex Turner.

Twitter or Instagram?
Instagram.

Where do you go when you want to let your hair down?
The Chinnery at The Mandarin Oriental in Hong Kong. Their butter chicken is out of this world.

Tipple of choice?
Vintage champagne.

Related topics: Chef, People, Profiles

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