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Revelations: Joginder Dham, head chef, Old Compton Brasserie, London

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Revelations: Joginder Dham, head chef, Old Compton Brasserie, London

What was your first job?

It was at my uncle’s fashion boutique – he was a fashion designer and owned the boutique

What was your first job in catering?

It was in a hotel in Bombay as a commis chef

What do you normally have for breakfast?

Porridge, strawberries and an apple. I have an apple every day, religiously

What do you do to relax?

I used to listen to music but now I like to spend time with family, with my six-month-old daughter. She keeps me very busy and helps me switch off from work

Which is your favourite restaurant?

Very tough question… Hawksmoor or the Wolseley

What’s your favourite hotel?

Brown’s Hotel, London

What is your favourite food?

All food, really, but I love sushi

Are there any ingredients that you refuse to cook with?

Truffle oil. It overpowers everything. The flavour of truffle is very natural and truffle oil tastes very artificial to me

What flavour combinations do you detest?

I’ve never found a combination I don’t like… I saw vanilla parsnip purée on a menu once and I don’t think they belong together

What do you always carry with you?

A Sharpie, always very useful. I can’t live without my Sharpie

Which person in catering have you most admired?

I have two. At the beginning of my career, I admired chef Nitin Kulkarni – he is very professional and set the stage for me through his work ethic and his hard-working ethos. Secondly, Sat Bains. His passion comes through in his food and his book is one of my favourites

Which person gave you the greatest inspiration?

As a part of hospitality, I would say I look up to Jeremy King and Chris Corbin. I think they are the leaders of hospitality and, working with them, I really learned how restaurants should operate

Cast away on a desert island, what luxury would you take?

My iPad and earphones

Tell us a secret...

I love to eat chips and gravy

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

I love Tom Cruise, so I hope him

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