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Chef Revelations – Omar Allibhoy

01 December 2011
Chef Revelations – Omar Allibhoy

What was your first job? I worked in a supermarket as a demonstration chef. The idea behind the job was if a 14-year-old kid could cook, then so could you

What was your first job in catering? A kitchen porter in a restaurant called Downtown Chicago. The chef would always say: "When you finish cleaning, you can make pizzas." Hands down, I was the quickest cleaner in that place.

What do you normally have for breakfast? Pan con tomate y café con leche - toasted bread rubbed with garlic, cherry tomato and olive oil - along with a cup of coffee to kickstart my day

Which is your favourite restaurant? Galvin at Windows

What is your favourite dish? ‘Kokochas al pil pil' - it's cod throat in a sauce that's made out of an emulsion of garlic, infused with olive oil and fat from the throat. It may not sound appealing but I guarantee it's a real treat!

What do you do to relax? I love jumping on my bike and going somewhere unusual.

Which ingredient do you hate the most? Pig brains

What flavour combinations do you detest? Uncooked tomato and fish

Which person in catering have you most admired? Ferran Adrià because he's created a very different way of cooking

Which person gave you the greatest inspiration? My father - he always has fun, whatever he does. It's the most important rule I've learned in life.

If you had not gone into catering, where do you think you would be now? A designer or architect

Describe your ultimate nightmare Either an empty fridge or a fridge full of junk food

What irritates you most about the industry? The unsociable working hours

Who would be in your fantasy brigade? Diego Benito (Tapas Revolution), Fabio Da Silva (El Pirata De Tapas), Pierre Koffmann (Koffmann's), Chris Galvin (Galvin restaurants), Michel Roux Jnr (Le Gavroche), Albert and Ferran Adrià (El Bulli), Daniel Campos (Notre Dame school).

Omar Allibhoy, executive chef at El Pirata Detapas and owner of Tapas Revolution

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