Head chef, the Mariners, Rock, Cornwall
Nominator Paul Ainsworth
Like many chefs, Joe Rozier started his career as a kitchen porter, at the age of 16. Having worked initially for free, learning to cook in a local restaurant, he eventually landed a job as a commis chef with Paul Ainsworth at No 6 in Padstow, where he spent five years learning how to perfect everything from starters to desserts. In 2019, he was given the opportunity to try his hand at pub-style cooking, taking on the role as joint head chef alongside Tom Dawes at the Mariners at Rock (part of the Ainsworth portfolio).
Since it opened, the Mariners has been shortlisted for The Caterer's Menu of the Year 2020 and GQ magazine's Best Pub of the Year 2020.
But Rozier is not resting on his laurels. He spends his days off visiting other kitchens to gain further skills and insights. His forays away from the Mariners include perfecting his pie-making skills with Calum Franklin at the Holborn Dining Room in London, and an exploration of Tom Kerridge's the Hand & Flowers in Buckinghamshire.
In view of the recent time spent locked out of hospitality, what did you miss the most?
I missed the general day-to-day business of the pub and dealing with new situations. No two days are ever the same at the Mariners and that feeling really keeps you on your toes and keeps your mind fresh.
Do you think the hospitality industry could be more sustainable? Not just in terms of plastics and waste but in terms of careers and diversity, training and growth?
I think the industry could be more sustainable in terms of individual growth and training. But I've been very lucky and worked in a family group that really believes in sticking by its people – not just teaching staff how to cook but also giving them valuable life skills along the way.
Photo: Chris Hewitt Photography