Revelations: Ben Boeynaems, head chef, the Colony Grill Room, London

14 January 2022
Revelations: Ben Boeynaems, head chef, the Colony Grill Room, London

What was your first job?

My first job was at 14, working in a small butcher's shop. I used to work every Saturday for the most incredible butcher – rare breed meats, award-winning sausages and loads of fresh game

What was your first job in catering?

The Mitre hotel in Hampton Court

What do you normally have for breakfast?

It is always overnight oats with some berries – quick, easy and healthy

What do you do to relax?

Spend time outdoors with my wife and children

Which is your favourite restaurant?

Smokestak in Shoreditch – the most amazing slow-smoked meats, cocktails and sticky toffee pudding

What's your favourite hotel?

Whatley Manor in Wiltshire.

What is your favourite drink?

Sparkling water

What is your favourite food/cuisine?

At the moment I absolutely love Vietnamese cuisine, especially Pho

Which ingredient do you hate the most?

Okra – can't stand the slimy texture

What flavour combinations do you detest?

Ham and pineapple – it should be illegal

What do you always carry with you?

The only thing I always have with me is my phone

How would you describe your desk?

Minimalistic organised chaos

If not yourself, who would you rather have been?

Bear Grylls

Describe your ultimate nightmare?

Going for a flight in a helicopter

When and where was your last holiday?

The Jurassic Coast, summer 2020

What irritates you most about the industry?

Chefs rushing to become head chefs as quickly as possible.

What's your favourite film?

Pixar's Ratatouille

Who would play "you" in a film about your life?

Danny DeVito

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