Chef Revelations – Tom van Zeller

19 October 2012 by
Chef Revelations – Tom van Zeller

What was your best subject at school?
History, geography and home economics, which my mum taught

What was your first job?
Paper round

What do you normally have for breakfast?
Porridge, with my little daughter Maria

What was your first job in catering?
Washing up at the world famous Bettys' café and tearooms in Harrogate after school and on weekends

What's your favourite restaurant?
I had lunch at Tom Aikens Restaurant recently and thought it was fantastic. I also thought that Pollen Street Social was a really good concept that could work in Leeds, but overall my favourite has to be Pied à Terre.

What's your favourite hotel?
My wife and I had our honeymoon at Le Mas Candille in Provence. It was fantastic. We ate about nine Michelin stars in a week!

Which person in catering have you most admired?
David Moore after he helped me open my own restaurant. I now appreciate what he has been going through for the past 21 years.

What do you do to relax?
Go to the gym in the afternoons

Which ingredient do you hate the most?
Broad beans that get picked too early

What flavour combinations do you detest?
Vanilla and fish - leave it alone!

Which person gave you the greatest inspiration?
My amazing wife Ruth is my greatest inspiration. Van Zeller Restaurant wouldn't exist without her.

What would be your last supper?
Sunday lunch with the family

What daily newspaper/website do you read?

If not yourself, who would you rather have been?
A Formula 1 driver

If you had not gone into catering, where do you think you'd be now?
I dread to think

Describe your ultimate nightmare
Working 9-5 in an office environment

What irritates you most about the industry?
Chefs ruining their careers on TV

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

Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?
Just my mates - we always have a good laugh when we meet up

What's your favourite drink?
Vodka martini

Tom van Zeller, chef-proprietor, Van Zeller restaurant, Harrogate

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