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Chef revelations: João Ferreira Pinto, head chef, Moio, London

13 September 2019 by
Chef revelations: João Ferreira Pinto, head chef, Moio, London

What was your first job?

I starred in a TV commercial for Nissan when I was 11

What was your first job in catering?

When I was 15, I worked at Michelin-starred Eleven in Lisbon

What do you normally have for breakfast?

Nothing. I normally skip it and wait for our staff lunch

Which is your favourite restaurant?

In London, Smoke & Salt; worldwide, I would say Septime in Paris; but for a day-to-day place, it would have to be Salsa & Coentros back home in Portugal

What's your favourite hotel?

Vila Joya in the Algarve, which also has one of the best restaurants in the world

Which ingredient do you hate the most?

I don't hate anything, but I don't love persimmons

Which person in catering have you most admired?

Mario Morais, a hospitality consultant with more than six Michelin stars under his wing

Which person gave you the greatest inspiration?

Any average cook that came from nothing into something through hard work in kitchens and sometimes corrupted environments

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

Fishing gear, a barbecue and a portable distillery. What a life

If not yourself, who would you rather have been?

My grandfather, Fernando Lima Bello, who was incredibly wise and a world champion and Olympian in sailing

Tell us a secret...

Like most of us in the industry, I have a love-hate relationship with it. Love and passion always prevail, but its not always easy

What's your favourite film?

Seabiscuit. It's based on a true story about a horse that is too small that gathered its strength to overcome and beat the rest.Got to love that

What irritates you most about the industry?

The poor treatment of staff. One of my biggest challenges is to prove you can have a strictly run kitchen, doing amazing things with food, without shouting at and mistreating colleagues

What's your favourite book?

We, Chefs: Beyond Cooking by João Wengorovius. An amazing book, which every chef should read, in my modest opinion

If you had more time, what would you do?

Get married and have kids. Just kidding… or am I?

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