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Chef Revelations: Hayden Groves, regional executive chef, BaxterStorey

27 September 2013
Chef Revelations: Hayden Groves, regional executive chef, BaxterStorey

What was your first job in catering?

What do you do to relax? Cycle a couple of hundred miles - and if not that, I read

What's your favourite restaurant? I can't say that I have one, as it's all about memories and experiences. However, I was training in the Alps with some friends about 12 years ago, and we went to this small auberge in the middle of nowhere. I had a big chunk of beef cooked on the fire in the dining room and a huge bowl of dauphinoise and a green salad. A tough day on the bike followed by that is hard to beat.

What's your favourite hotel? Hotel Il Perlo Panorama above Bellagio, overlooking Lake Como in northern Italy

What's your favourite cuisine? Anything flavourful, but generally I like modern British

Which person in catering have you most admired? Pierre Koffmann, a real chefs' chef

What's your favourite drink? A good glass of red wine with food, or a nice Belgian beer with friends

Which ingredient do you hate the most? Pickled walnuts

Which person gave you the greatest inspiration? Three-time Tour de France winner Greg Lemond. He was shot on a turkey shoot in 1987 and 15 minutes from bleeding to death yet he won the Tour again in 1989 by just eight seconds on a thrilling last stage. As a 15-year-old at the time it really inspired me to get out and ride.

Cast away on a desert island, what luxury would you take? A giant walk-in fridge filled with provisions and my lucky spoon

What is your favourite prepared product? Got to be top quality cheese - just slice and go

If you hadn't gone into catering, where do you think you'd be now? I always aspired to be a professional cyclist. I had a chance to race an amateur season as an under-23 in Belgium, but chose cooking instead

Who's in your fantasy brigade? Pierre Koffmann, Philip Howard, Simon Rogan, Alyn Williams, Monica Galetti, Ashley Palmer-Watts and, so I could tire him out and try to beat him on the bike, Alan Murchison

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