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Chef revelations: Matthew Hill

26 May 2016
Chef revelations: Matthew Hill

The head chef of Down Hall country house hotel reveals his likes and dislikes

What was your best subject at school?

I was good at maths, and as I went through school I become really interested in abstract art

What was your first job?

My very first job was selling double glazing, cold-calling customers. I quickly realised that it was not for me

What was your first job in catering?

At John Lewis, cooking for staff and customers. It helped me find my feet in a busy working kitchen.

What is your favourite drink?

A mojito, much to the amusement of my wife

What is your favourite cuisine?

I'm really into Nordic and Asian cuisine at the moment, I find it fascinating how we have come full circle and are relearning the skills of preservation and curing

Which is your favourite restaurant?

Galvin La Chapelle is a place I always love going back to

What flavour combinations do you detest?

It really annoys me when I see a chocolate and beetroot dessert on the menu. Generally the chef is trying to be too clever.

If you had not gone into catering, where do you think you would be now?

A car mechanic

Which person in catering have you most admired?

I'm a huge admirer of Raymond Blanc for what he has achieved

Which person gave you the greatest inspiration?

Chefs Arnaud Stevens and Killian Lynch have inspired me greatly

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

A wind-up radio

What daily newspaper/ website do you read?

Sky Sports News and then BBC News, in that order

If not yourself, who would you rather have been?

Fernand Point

Tell us a secret…

My first name is Ian

What is your favourite prepared product?

This is more of a guilty pleasure, but plastic cheese slices

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