Chef revelation: Nigel Mendham, Dukes Restaurant

15 September 2017 by
Chef revelation: Nigel Mendham, Dukes Restaurant

Nigel Mendham, executive chef, Great British Restaurant, Dukes London

What was your first job?
A food runner in my local pub, the Hare Arms in west Norfolk

What was your first job in catering?

Which is your favourite restaurant?
I like to go and explore, so I don't really have a favourite

What's your favourite hotel?
Anything minimalistic - I like no-fuss places

What is your favourite food?
Medium-rare rib eye steak with peppercorn sauce

Which person in catering have you most admired?
Kitchen porters. People forget about these guys and without them chefs are nothing, so I admire them a lot - total respect!

If not yourself, who would you rather have been?
I wouldn't want to be anyone else

Which ingredient do you hate the most?
Peas, because it takes for ever to pop them

Which person gave you the greatest inspiration?
Martin Blunos, who was my executive chef at the Lygon Arms. Being able to learn from a guy who had two stars for 15 years was an amazing experience, and I don't think I would be where I am today without his guidance

If you had not gone into catering, where do you think you would be now?
I'm not sure - the food world quickly became a serious direction for me

What irritates you most about the industry?
Chefs that have only been cooking for a short amount of time demanding positions or salaries they are not ready for

Who would play you in a film about your life?
Heath Ledger

What is your favourite prepared product?
Pink grapefruit juice

Who would be in your fantasy brigade?
My team from the Samling Hotel. I trained those guys from nothing and we gained a Michelin star, and they have all gone on to be successful. They are Dan 'Shakey' Grigg, John 'Boy' Brewster, 'Big' Al, 'Charlie' Ellis and Alex Porfyris

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