What was your first job?
Apprentice chef at Claridge’s
What do you do to relax?
I forage for and grow herbs
What’s your favourite hotel?
Claridge’s, but I’m biased
What is your favourite drink?
Gin and tonic made with Monkey 47 or Slingsby rhubarb gin
What is your favourite cuisine?
To cook: old-school French; to eat at home: Asian
Which ingredient do you hate the most?
Nutmeg – if it’s used incorrectly (too much)
Are there any foods that you refuse to cook with? If so, why?
Cottage cheese – it’s all kinds of wrong
What flavour combinations do you detest?
None (maybe nutmeg and cottage cheese)
Which person in catering have you most admired?
Adam Byatt of Trinity in Clapham, London
If you had not gone into catering, what would you be now?
Which person gave you the greater inspiration?
Both my father and grandfather
Describe your ultimate nightmare?
A room full of people on their mobile phones – especially at the dinner table
Tell us a secret…
Pine is a great seasoning if it’s dried out into a powder – it has a vibrant, lemony flavour
What irritates you most about the industry?
Social media – everything is posted or tweeted. People think they can cook by following what other restaurants are doing, but they haven’t learned the craft
of the trade or the basics
What’s your favourite film?
Blades of Glory
What is your favourite prepared product?
Smoked and brined peppers
If you had more time, what would you do?
Spend more time with my daughter, keep bees, and decorate the house