Chef revelations – Joël Antunès

25 March 2011 by
Chef revelations – Joël Antunès

Joël Antunès, executive chef, Park Plaza Westminster Bridge hotel, London, talks about orange juice, cycling and Jacques Cousteau…

What was your first job? When I was 14, I worked on a farm in Auvergne for a family friend, harvesting corn and beetroot

What do you normally have for breakfast? Orange juice

What is your favourite food/cuisine? Cheese - one of my favourites is a regional variety called Salers. It's matured for 18 months and comes in huge 8kg wheels

Are there any foods that you refuse to cook with? I won't cook with any fish that isn't sustainable - it's unfeasible as a chef to say that we shouldn't cook fish at all, but there are other varieties that can be substituted and you can get really good farmed fish now from Scotland

What flavour combinations do you detest? I don't see the point in taking really great ingredients and turning them into something like foam or jelly. Good ingredients should be allowed to speak for themselves

When did you last eat a hamburger? Three months ago at Bar Boulud

What's your favourite hotel? My mom's house

What do you do to relax? Cycling

Which person in catering have you most admired? Norbert Kostner

Cast away on a desert island, what luxury would you take? My goggles for swimming

What daily newspaper/website do you read? La Montagne

If not yourself, who would you rather have been? Jacques Cousteau

Describe your ultimate nightmare I suppose it's when someone comes in with a huge list of allergies that put a lot of pressure on the kitchen. We can be adaptable to people with a few problems but it's very difficult when people have a lot of things that they can't eat

Who would be in your fantasy brigade? Pierre Koffmann as aboyeur, Richard Neat as butcher, Bruno Loubet as saucier, Gary Rhodes on fish position, Anthony Demetre on starter, Marco Pierre White on pastry and me as a sheriff

When and where was your last holiday? Last week in India

Tell us a secret… I love my motorcycle

What's your favourite film?Easy Rider

What irritates you most about the industry? The chefs who want to be a TV star before they know how to cook

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