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Revelations: Paul Leonard, head chef, the Burlington restaurant, the Devonshire Arms, Bolton Abbey, North Yorkshire

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Revelations: Paul Leonard, head chef, the Burlington restaurant, the Devonshire Arms, Bolton Abbey, North Yorkshire

What was your best subject at school?
I loved geography, I’m not sure why. I was half-decent at it, which could be the reason

What do you normally have for breakfast?
Banana and coffee

What do you do to relax?
Walk Teal (our black lab). I also like playing a bit of guitar….

Which is your favourite restaurant?
It was Hibiscus, but now I would say L’Enclume, Cartmel, Cumbria

What’s your favourite hotel?
Rockliffe Hall near Darlington is fantastic, it houses everything you need. Robyn (my fiancée) loves the spa there and it has a fantastic restaurant

What is your favourite drink?
A nice cold Estrella after a busy Saturday service always goes down well

What is your favourite cuisine?
Good old traditional British food

Which ingredient do you hate the most?
Lovage

If you had more time, what would you do?
Have my own allotment and try my hand at growing specialist vegetables like Ken Holland!

What irritates you most about the industry?
People who don’t look at building the future of the industry. We need to leave it in a better state than we found it

Which person gave you the greatest inspiration?
Andrew Fairlie – the way he runs his restaurant at Gleneagles is an inspiration to me

Cast away on a desert island, what luxury would you take?
Mobile phone – I like to keep an eye on what’s happening

Are there any ingredients that you refuse to cook with?
I would never refuse to cook with something, but ingredients that have been flown halfway around the world make no sense to me when we have fantastic produce on our doorstep

If not yourself, who would you rather have been?
Liam Gallagher for sure

Describe your worst nightmare
Not being organised and not knowing the plan for anything. I like to plan and be in control

Tell us a secret…
I used to be in a band called Park and Ride – we did a tour with the Kooks! Not really a secret but a little-known fact

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