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?
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