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Revelations: Ashley Binder, head chef, Middlethorpe Hall, York

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Revelations: Ashley Binder, head chef, Middlethorpe Hall, York

What was your best subject at school?

Geography and PE were my favourite as they gave you the most chance of being outside. Ironic as I now spend my life in the kitchen!

What was your first job?

I had a paper round as my first job. It was short-lived

What was your first job in catering?

At Rudding Park in Harrogate

What do you normally have for breakfast?


What do you do to relax?

Golf, although most of the time it stresses me out even more

Which is your favourite restaurant?

Eleven Madison Park in New York City. I’ve never been but I love the style – classical cooking with modern techniques

What’s your favourite hotel?

I really enjoyed the Chester Grosvenor, great restaurant too

What is your favourite drink?

Good beer!

What is your favourite food?

You can’t beat a good steak

What flavour combinations do you detest?

Courgette and rosemary is not for me at all

Which person in catering have you most admired?

I think almost everything Simon Rogan does is incredible

Which person gave you the greatest inspiration?

This sounds soppy, but my children inspire me. I love their unblemished outlook on life

Describe your ultimate nightmare?

A freezer door left open overnight

What irritates you most about the industry?

Working Christmas day

What’s your favourite film?

Wolf of Wall Street

Who would play “you” in a film about your life?

Gerard Butler (the likeness is uncanny)

What’s your favourite book?

I read cookbooks mostly. I love the anecdotes from other chefs in Sat Bains’ cookbook. But it all started (like a lot of chefs) with the late Anthony Bourdain’s Kitchen Confidential

What is your favourite prepared product?

Does cheese count? If so, cheese

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