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Revelations: Matt Harris, founder, Thunderbird Fried Chicken

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Revelations: Matt Harris, founder, Thunderbird Fried Chicken

What was your best subject at school?

Probably design technology. I’ve always loved making stuff and playing with power tools in an unsafe manner…

What was your first job?

I was a racing driver, first as a hobby in karts, then as a professional in various formula cars and Porsches. It took me as far as the US, but ultimately, the 2008 recession torpedoed my sponsorship. Inspired by my travelling across the deep south, I decided to bring back some of those unique southern flavours

What was your first job in catering?

I worked in a pub for three days before they asked me not to come back

What do you normally have for breakfast?

Flat white and a brisk walk!

Which is your favourite restaurant?

Flat Iron, Homeslice, Bleecker Burger, Voodoo Rays… I love too many to have a favourite

What is your favourite food/cuisine?

At the moment it’s a toss-up between Korean and Mexican, but it changes monthly. My constant has to be fried chicken

What flavour combinations do you detest?

Coffee-flavoured things are generally vile

How would you describe your desk?

Scattered with things that I find amusing

Which person gave you the greatest inspiration?

Probably Heston Blumenthal. Not just for the technical wizardry, but for the way that he approaches a meal as a multi-sensory experience. It’s much more than just flavour – it is about the formula

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

A luxurious beach house

Describe your ultimate nightmare?

Failing. I did it once with my racing career, and I’d rather not do it again

What irritates you most about the industry?

I have honestly loved every minute of working in this industry. Even in the darkest hours, there’s a lesson to be learned and a challenge to overcome. The bad days give value to the good days

When did you last eat a hamburger?

Yesterday. That answer applies to more days than I should admit

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