Thomas Clarke, head chef, the Lord Clyde, Macclesfield
What was your first job?
Potwasher at Fat Cats café in Stoke-on-Trent
Which is your favourite restaurant?
There is a little tapas restaurant local to me called Tapa. Amazing food
What is your favourite drink?
Hendrick’s gin and tonic
What is your favourite cuisine?
Italian – you can’t go wrong with a good pasta
Which ingredient do you hate?
Frozen meat! I mean, who cooks with that? I tried beetroot porridge the other day – never again
What flavour combinations do you detest?
Anything with banana in it. I just don’t get it, it’s wrong on so many levels
How would you describe your desk?
I’ve seen cleaner war zones
Which person in catering have you most admired?
Anyone with the balls and brains to start their own restaurant
What daily newspaper/website do you read?
Twitter, even if it’s ‘fake news’
Which person gave you the greatest inspiration?
Helping my nan make Sunday dinner when I was young inspired me to become a chef. I still can’t cook one as good as hers
Describe your ultimate nightmare?
Saturday night, no prep and a fully booked restaurant
Tell us a secret…
I told a commis chef that I chopped my fingers off with my knives during a busy service. I found out many years later that he had quit being a chef because he wanted to keep all his fingers! (I didn’t chop my fingers off with a knife)
If you had not gone into catering, where do you think you would be now?
A failing guitar player, still trying to make it
What irritates you most about the industry?
The hours and days chefs are expected to work. It’s not healthy and it’s putting younger chefs off
What’s your favourite film?
Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels
Who would play “you” in a film about your life?