Flash-grilled: Sean Garrett

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Flash-grilled: Sean Garrett head chef at The Pig & Butcher pub in Islington

Related tags: Chef, Pub, London

The head chef at The Pig & Butcher pub in Islington on where to get the best chicken wings in west London, and a dangerous scuba diving escapade in Mexico.

What was your first industry job?
My first industry job was a small café owned by my best friends’ parents in a placed called Burleigh in QLD Australia.

If you weren’t in kitchens, what would you do?
If I wasn’t working in kitchens, I would love to be game keeper on an estate somewhere in the countryside. 

Pet hate in the kitchen?
Labels that that have been labeled with a biro pen.

What’s the oddest thing a customer has said to you?
I once had a customer request 'thank you so much mommy, I love you so much' in chocolate on a dessert plate.

Sum up your cooking style in a single sentence…
Precisely rough and ready.

What’s the worst review you’ve ever had?
They all hurt when you get them.

Which single item of kitchen equipment could you not live without?
I couldn’t live without a Vitamix.

What would you choose to eat for your last meal?
Starter - roasted scallops; mains - beef Wellington; pudding - apple tart tatin with loads of vanilla ice cream and custard.

Favourite fast food joint?
Chicken Cottage in Ladbroke grove. Best wings in west London in my opinion.

Who would your dream dinner party guests be?
The cast of the film The Gentleman,​ including director Guy Richie. Oh and my wife and son (better not forget them)…

What’s your earliest food memory?
My Grandmother would make this stewed strawberry cream cheese lattice slice. I can remember it being so delicious that I can close my eyes and taste and remember it now.

What’s the closest you’ve ever come to death?
Scuba diving in Mexico. We had done a deep dive and had to make a couple of safety stops to make sure the nitrogen that our bodies had absorbed would be released. As we got to the depth of our first safety stop my dive computer was reading that I did not have enough air to make it to the surface. I had to return to the surface on the instructor’s emergency air source. Very embarrassing, dangerous and scary. 

Tipple of choice?
Warmer months would have to be a German riesling or a gin cocktail. And in the cooler months, a negroni.

What advice would you give someone starting out in the industry?
The best piece of advice I was given when I was starting out was keep your head down, work hard, say YES,  oh and taste, taste, taste.

Related topics: People, Profiles, Chef

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