Revelations: Ian Waller, head chef, Pine, East Wallhouses, Newcastle

26 May 2023
Revelations: Ian Waller, head chef, Pine, East Wallhouses, Newcastle

We delve into the life and inner thoughts of a top chef. This week: Ian Waller, head chef at Pine, East Wallhouses, Newcastle

What was your best subject at school?

History, I was a bit of a nerd

What was your first job in catering?

Pot wash in the kitchens at Clough Manor, which no longer exists

Which is your favourite restaurant?

Most recently, Perilla in London

What's your favourite hotel?

I'm not a big hotel person. Does Premier Inn count?

Which ingredient do you love the most?

Gooseberries. End of

What flavour combinations do you love?

There's at least 18 on our menu, but my recent favourite is barbecue cuttlefish with salsify and roasted yeast in a broth

*Are there any foods you want to cook with and haven't yet?

Matsutake mushrooms

How would you describe your desk?

A semi-organised selection of chopping boards. But no Sharpies because everyone has stolen them

What do you always carry with you?

The weight of [Pine chef] Cal Byerley's expectations

Which person in catering have you or do you most admire and why?

Fergus Henderson, he's got a genuine passion for hospitality and having a good time. That last part is very important

Which person has given you the greatest inspiration in your career so far?

It has to be Kevin Tickle as he's mine and Cal's culinary dad. He taught us a lot

What would be your ultimate cooking experience?

I'd love to cook at Etxebarri. Put me on a section, I'd love it!

What's your favourite film?

The Menu, particularly the Pacojet content

What would you change about the industry?

We're not saving lives; a little patience goes a long way

Who would be in your "fantasy" brigade?

Ten clones of André Borg, co-founder of Terroir, Malta, or one of the real thing, nothing compares

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