Flash-grilled: Jake Leach

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Flash-grilled with Jake Leach The Harwood Arms head chef

Related tags: The Harwood Arms, Pub & bar, Jake Leach, Brett Graham, Restaurant, Gastropub, Game

The Harwood Arms head chef on his career, what he'd be doing if he wasn't in kitchens, and childhood memories of fish and chips.

What was your first industry job?
Chef in a pub in my hometown in Guildford.

If you weren’t in kitchens, what would you do?
Investment banking, definitely.

What industry figure do you most admire, and why?
Brett Graham of The Ledbury, because he’s given me a lot of opportunities and taught me a lot.

Pet hate in the kitchen?
People having spoons in their pockets.

What’s the oddest thing a customer has said to you?
One of them thought I was Brett!

Sum up your cooking style in a single sentence…
Seasonal British with emphasis on fresh ingredients and game meat. 

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

What would you choose to eat for your last meal?
Fish and chips.

À la carte or tasting menu?
I prefer à la carte.

What’s the best meal you’ve ever had in a restaurant?
Moor Hall in Lancashire by far.

Favourite fast food joint?
Five Guys.

MasterChef or Great British Menu?
GBM​.

What’s your earliest food memory?
Eating fish and chips on the beach in Cornwall.

Tipple of choice?
Negroni.

What do you consider your signature dish?
Pâté en croûte, which we serve at The Harwood Arms.

What advice would you give someone starting out in the industry?
Work hard! Learn as much as you can.

Related topics: People, Profiles, Chef

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