What was your first job?
Kitchen porter at the Ocean Castle hotel on the Isle of Man
What do you normally have for breakfast?
Benecol and gallons of tea
What do you do to relax?
Read a book with a glass of wine
What's your favourite hotel?
The Park Hyatt Tokyo – the rooms are palatial, the restaurants divine and the views from the New York Grill are breathtaking. And the jazz is awesome
Are there any foods/ingredients that you refuse to cook with? If so, why?**
Shark's fin – sharks are vital to the ecosystem, and such a majestic animal. It makes me sick that they are tossed overboard after their fins are cut off
What do you always carry with you?
My iPad, it has my music and The Guardian on it
Which person in catering have you most admired?
Rainer Becker. I worked with him at the Park Hyatt Sydney and we opened Zuma together. He taught me to see beyond the kitchen and also to check the small details. I try to run my restaurants like he would
Which person gave you the greatest inspiration?
My dad and my uncle John. My dad had a Billy Elliot moment when I said I wanted to go to cookery school – it was unheard of then. I had to get special permission from the board of education and my dad always supported me. My aunt and uncle took me in and were always ready with good advice
If not yourself, who would you rather have been?
Tell us a secret...
I failed a background check to cook for Prince Charles at Highgrove House in my youth. I have no idea why. Well, I have a few ideas...
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