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Chef revelations: Matt Sworder

19 July 2016
Chef revelations: Matt Sworder

The chef-owner of Corner House Restaurants talks about his likes and dislikes

What was your first job?

Clarks shoe shop in Canterbury

What was your first job in catering?

Commis chef at Eastwell Manor in Ashford. It was my first taste of life in a fast-paced kitchen and it was a real eye opener

Which is your favourite restaurant?

Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons is pretty special

What's your favourite hotel?

I recently stayed at the Savoy, which was pretty incredible

What is your favourite drink?


What is your favourite food?

Which ingredient do you hate the most?

Marmite or liquorice

Are there any ingredients that you refuse to cook with?

I'm obsessed with freshness and where an ingredient has come from. If the quality isn't there with the deliveries, we refuse it

Which person in catering have you most admired?

Bjorn van der Horst at La Noisette and Tom Kerridge's style

Which person gave you the greatest inspiration?

Van der Horst - I was a commis and he was a real inspiration

If not yourself, who would you rather have been?

Michel Roux is fantastic

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

Possibly my old marketing job, selling insurance. But I didn't feel alive - I do when I'm cooking though, and it's important to feel alive in your job, right?

What irritates you most about the industry?

Lack of work-life balance. We need to show the world that you can run better restaurants with happy staff who are not working 90 hours a week

When did you last eat a hamburger?

Two days ago, at Byron in Canterbury. It was awesome

Who would play you in a film about your life?

Samuel L Jackson

What is your favourite prepared product?

Good quality chorizo - the ultimate fridge ingredient and perfect midnight snack

Who would be in your fantasy brigade?

Anthony Demetre, formerly of Arbutus, Adam Byatt from Trinity and Tom Kerridge from the Hand & Flowers. The fun we could have!

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Jacobs Media Group is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

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