Paul Greening, executive chef, Aqua Kyoto
What was your best subject at school?
Drama. I played Sweeney Todd in a school production
What was your first job?
I was 14 and I worked for my parents’ company in Nelson, New Zealand, cutting fishing knots. I received 1 cent per knot
What was your first job in catering?
Cutting up fruit for fruit salad in a hotel kitchen
What do you have for breakfast?
Sourdough bread with homemade blueberry jam. If I have more time, sweetcorn fritters, mushrooms, a poached egg and avocado
What do you do to relax?
I study Japanese. It’s challenging, but I enjoy the learning process
What’s your favourite restaurant?
My recent favourites include Enigma in Barcelona and Ekstedt in Stockholm
What’s your favourite hotel?
I love staying in GHM hotels and resorts. The Chedi in Zhejiang, China, has incredible hot springs
What is your favourite cuisine?
My favourite cuisine to cook is Japanese, but I love eating eclectic dishes from chefs that take their inspiration from a range of cultures and influences
Which ingredient do you hate the most?
I really dislike the taste of kidney
Which person in catering have you most admired?
Pierre Gagnaire, who I worked for in Paris. He believes in ‘facing tomorrow, but be respectful of yesterday’
Cast away on a desert island, what luxury would you take?
Peanut M&M’s – my guilty pleasure
Tell us a secret…
I’m related to Sir Francis Drake
If not yourself, who would you rather have been?
Steve Jobs, for his attention to design detail
If you had not gone into catering, where do you think you would be now?
What irritates you most about the industry?
People leaving their job too quickly
When did you last eat a hamburger?
About six months ago. I’m not a big meat eater
What’s your favourite book?
The Wind in the Willows
If you had more time, what would you do?
Teach myself to make ceramics
What’s your favourite film?
Star Wars, which I saw at the cinema