The executive chef at One Aldwych hotel, London, reveals his likes and dislikes
What was your first job?
Potwasher at the Devil's Dyke pub and restaurant near Brighton
What's your favourite hotel?
Altnaharrie Inn, in Loch Broom in the Scottish Highlands. It was only reachable by boat and was beautiful; sadly it's no longer open.
What is your favourite drink?
Tea, or for special occasions, a drop of Ron Zacapa 23 rum
What is your favourite cuisine?
Malaysian street food
Which person in catering have you most admired?
Chris and Jeff Galvin, who I've known a long time. They've achieved so much while sticking to their culinary principles and are humble and level-headed.
Which person gave you the greatest inspiration?
The lecturers at Brighton College of Technology (now City College Brighton), who showed me you can have fun in the kitchen alongside the hard work.
Which ingredient do you hate the most?
If not yourself, who would you rather have been?
Jonny Wilkinson. One of the highlights of my life was in Sydney in 2003 when I sat behind the goalpost at the World Cup Final when he scored his drop goal.
Describe your ultimate nightmare
During a VIP banquet for 350 in Barbados, I spent six hours with a sous chef and five students plating up a complex starter. The dishes were loaded onto jack stacks ready to take in the lift up to the event, when the sous chef said: "By the way chef, those jack stacks don't fit in the lift". We had to run them upstairs in 30°C+ heat.
What's your favourite prepared product?
Tell us a secret…
I once borrowed Paul Gayler's tuxedo from his office for an impromptu night out at Stringfellows and he never knew.
What's your favourite film?
The Shawshank Redemption
Who would be in your fantasy brigade?
Paul Gayler on the pass, Chris and Jeff Galvin on meat and fish, Warren Geraghty and Phil Thompson on veg and garnish, Chris Eden on larder, Alan Pickett on pastry. We wouldn't get too much food out as we'd be laughing so much.