Flash-grilled: Ben Hobson

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Flash-grilled with Ben Hobson head chef at Bob Bob Ricard City in London

Related tags: Bob Bob Ricard City, Leonid Shutov, Restaurant, Fine dining, London, Chef

The head chef at Bob Bob Ricard City in London on a troubling Michelin memory, what he'd be doing if he wasn't in kitchens, and his dream dinner party guests.

What was your first industry job?
I joined Galvin at Windows as commis chef at 18.

If you weren’t in kitchens, what would you do?
I would probably have joined the military. My dad was in the navy for 25 years, and I think I would have gone down the army route.

What industry figure do you most admire, and why?
Joo Won, who was my head chef when I was at Galvin at Windows.

Pet hate in the kitchen?
Cloths over shoulders!

What’s the oddest thing a customer has said to you?
I’ve been asked for onion soup with no onion before.

Sum up your cooking style in a single sentence…
Thoughtful, classical, clean.

What’s the worst review you’ve ever had?
I was at Galvin at Windows when it lost its Michelin star, which was so disappointing. The team had worked so hard.

Which single item of kitchen equipment could you not live without?
My knives. I worship them!

What would you choose to eat for your last meal?
Beans on toast with cheese. And a side of ramen.

À la carte or tasting menu?
Tasting.

What’s the best meal you’ve ever had in a restaurant?
Casa Fofo in Hackney.

Favourite fast food joint?
Five Guys.

Most overrated food?
Lobster.

Restaurant dictator for a day – what would you ban?
Veganism.

Who would your dream dinner party guests be?
Aristotle, Escoffier, and Bruce Lee.

What’s your earliest food memory?
Getting a fish bone stuck in my throat when I was five or six.

Twitter or Instagram?
Instagram.

Where do you go when you want to let your hair down?
The gym.

Tipple of choice?
I’m not a big drinker, but if I had to pick anything it would be a gin and tonic.

Favourite food and drink pairing (the more obscure, the better)?
It’s not obscure, but it’s the best – monbazillac or sauternes with foie gras.

What do you consider your signature dish?
Stuffed quail with sweet wine jus.

What advice would you give someone starting out in the industry? 
Don’t be afraid of hard work. If you put in the hours, it will pay off.

Related topics: People, Profiles, Chef

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