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Chef Revelations: Grant Hawthorne, chef-producer, African Volcano

25 October 2013
Chef Revelations: Grant Hawthorne, chef-producer, African Volcano

What's your favourite restaurant?
The Waterside Inn, Bray

What's your favourite hotel? The Four Seasons Hotel Paris or Four Seasons Hotel Chiang Mai

What's your favourite cuisine? French for refined, Italian for comfort, Thai for something different

What's your favourite drink? In the kitchen, water. Out of the kitchen, decent Shiraz

Are there any foods/ingredients that you refuse to cook with?

What flavour combinations do you detest? Potato salad; beetroot and apple salad; coleslaw. All normally as part of a traditional Saffer braai (BBQ). A psychological throwback to my youth.

Which person in catering have you most admired? Michel Roux Sr - a true master

Which ingredient do you hate the most? Beetroot

Which person gave you the greatest inspiration? Personally, my mother. Professionally, Bill Stafford, who I worked for and trained under, and the late Jan Warmerdam who allowed me into his kitchen at a young age.

What's your favourite book?Whoops! by John Lanchester

If you hadn't gone into catering, where do you think you'd be now? A captain on a sports fishing boat, or a pilot. But I am grateful I am neither and love being a chef.

What's your favourite film? The Shawshank Redemption

What's your favourite prepared product? My own brand of Peri Peri sauce (African Volcano) - it has the flavour, then the heat, which is what the Mozambique-style Peri Peri is meant to have!

Who would be in your fantasy brigade?
Bill Stafford (Staffords Foods, Cape Town) on the pass; Thomas Keller on meat/sauce; Claire Clark on pastry; David Higgs (consultant, South Africa) on veg/garnish; Joel Robuchon on canapés; I'll hustle on the fish; Chris Tanner on dietary - for giggles - he knows why

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