What was your first industry job?
Pot washer at a Greek restaurant in my home town of Plymouth when I was around 14. It didn’t really end well…
If you weren’t in kitchens, what would you do?
I’m not really ‘in kitchens’ as my kitchen is always outside by my fires. If I wasn’t cooking with fire I’d be doing something else outdoors - scientific research (I’m a biologist by training), or gardening perhaps. Maybe a bit of beach bumming and travelling!
What industry figure do you most admire, and why?
Fellow fire cook and friend Christian Stevenson (aka DJ BBQ). At first glance, he’s kinda bonkers, but underneath the spandex he’s a total grafter, committed dad, and one of the kindest and most supportive guys I’ve met.
Pet hate in the kitchen?
Sum up your cooking style in a single sentence…
Smoke-licked, laid back and unpretentious with a whole rainbow of global influences.
What’s the worst review you’ve ever had?
A review for my book Charred on Amazon: "Your falafels are disgusting, and as for your hummus, I prefer shop-bought." I’m still laughing slash crying.
Which single item of kitchen equipment could you not live without?
My Thermapen - essential for good barbecue.
What would you choose to eat for your last meal?
Steak and chip butty, plus a few cold beers.
MasterChef or Great British Menu?
Neither. British food telly is pretty crap.
Most overrated food?
Anything that’s too fiddled about with and ‘fancy’. Just give me simple ingredients, cooked with respect.
Who would your dream dinner party guests be?
I don’t really do dinner parties, but I definitely do outdoor parties with plenty of fire, food, music and booze. I’d invite my best mates in my home city of Bristol and my fire cooking tribe from all over the place including Andy Stubbs (of Low and Slow who’s also appearing at Meatopia this year); Chris Taylor aka T Bone Chops; DJ BBQ, of course; and loads more of our crew!
What’s your earliest food memory?
When I was about give my grandad gave me 50p to spend on sweets. Which in the late ’70’s brought me a bagful as big as my head!
Twitter or Instagram?
Tipple of choice?
Red wine, beer, or whisky; in order of preference.
What advice would you give someone starting out in the industry?
Work hard, play harder, and don’t take any shit from the big egos.
Meatopia London will take place at Tobacco Dock between 3 - 5 September. Other headline chefs set to appear alongside Taylor include Niklas Ekstedt; Sarit Packer & Itamar Srulovich of Middle Eastern institution Honey & Co; and Melissa Thompson (aka: Fowl Mouths Food). For full details, check out the Meatopia website here.