Flash-grilled: Simon Shand

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Flash-grilled: Simon Shand head chef of the Michelin-starred Leroy in London's Shoreditch

Related tags: Leroy, Shoreditch, Restaurant, Michelin star, Chef

The head chef of the Michelin-starred Leroy in London's Shoreditch on working as a fish monger, his dream dinner party guests, and what he'd do if he wasn't in kitchens.

What was your first industry job?
I worked in a fish mongers when I was 16. I quickly found a way to work in restaurants. Fish mongering is hard, hard work. 

If you weren’t in kitchens, what would you do? 
I wanted to get into film making when I was younger, so maybe something to do with that?

What industry figure do you most admire, and why? 
Phil Howard, he’s astonishingly good. And still going strong.

Pet hate in the kitchen?
Dodgy cling filming.

What’s the oddest thing a customer has said to you?
Someone once told me the duck was their favourite course on a menu where there was no duck.

Sum up your cooking style in a single sentence…
A magpie like, using all my favourites things from Europe. 

What’s the worst review you’ve ever had?
"It was like someone went to a nice restaurant, copied it and missed the mark completely."

Which single item of kitchen equipment could you not live without?
A Vitamix blender.

What would you choose to eat for your last meal?
Ratatouille.  

À la carte or tasting menu?
To eat, tasting; to cook, à la carte.

What’s the best meal you’ve ever had in a restaurant?
The Square.

Favourite fast food joint?
Five Guys.

Who would your dream dinner party guests be?
I’d bring David Bowie and Anthony Bourdain back to life, then Paul Thomas Anderson and Patti Smith.

Tipple of choice?
Chartreuse.

What do you consider your signature dish?
Devilled eggs.

What advice would you give someone starting out in the industry?
It’s not like it is on tv. 

Related topics: People, Profiles, Chef

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