What was your first job?
I raised rabbits and would take them to local restaurants and sell them for the pot. I did so well that I was able to afford my first car.
What was your first job in catering? My parents had a restaurant, therefore I was born into catering. I used to watch them cook and would stand on a stool so that I could stir the pots. I began my apprenticeship exactly 50 years ago, when I was 15.
What do you do to relax? I have more than 6,000 cookery books and my perfect relaxation is to browse through them while listening to music from my favourite Broadway musicals
What's your favourite restaurant?
What's your favourite drink? A glass of chilled Mosimann's Champagne
What's your favourite cuisine? Food from the Far East is so honest and the taste is always so clean and pure - I think it has to be Japanese
Which person in catering have you most admired? I have been so lucky to have worked with some outstanding chefs and had some incredibly supportive GMs that were really mentors; it is impossible to pinpoint one person
Which person gave you the greatest inspiration? Bartolomeo Scappi, chef to the Pope in the 16th century. I have a copy of his book dated 1570; it is filled with illustrations of kitchen equipment; many of which are still used today and such practical advice that is still valid today.
Cast away on a desert island, â¨what luxury â¨would you take? My steamer, so that I could cook the fish, and a supply of olive oil, basil and coriander
What daily newspaper/website do you read? The Financial Times and The Times
What irritates you most about the industry? Shouting and swearing in the kitchen - there is no need to resort to any sort of bad language
Who would be in your fantasy brigade? It was a dinner at the Dorchester and 18 of the best restaurants in â¨the world were represented, with their chefs supported by the brigade. There was Paul Bocuse, Pierre Troisgros, Roger Vergé, â¨Frédy Girardet, Alain Chapel - can you imagine it?!