We delve into the life and inner thoughts of a top chef. This week: Jamie Dobbin, executive chef, Brucan Pubs
What was your best subject at school?
Hard to choose. I was very good at football, I played in goal, only conceding six goals in one season. However, food technology was my strongest subject and the one I had most fun in
What was your first job?
I had a paper round and I delivered milk. I saved my money for chef's knives and cookbooks
What was your first job in catering?
A kitchen hand at a lovely restaurant in Newcastle called the Blackgate. The chef was Douglas Jordan and he was a great mentor
What do you normally have for breakfast?
Strong black coffee, Yakult and the occasional Mars bar
What do you do to relax?
I'm a keen cyclist. I have an amazing Condor Super Acciaio road bike. When I'm on two wheels I have clear head space and some quiet time, and it keeps me relatively fit
Which is your favourite restaurant
Scott's in Mayfair. My wife and I have had many celebrations there
What's your favourite hotel?
Claridge's. I've only stayed there once, but it was where I did my apprenticeship. I spent four wonderful years there
What is your favourite drink
I'm quite fond of a Michelada, it's a sort of Mexican Bloody Mary with less tomato juice and topped up with ice-cold lager and a good serving of sriracha chilli sauce
What is your favurite cuisine?
To eat, anything Southeast Asian or really good sushi. To cook, a Sunday roast for my family
Which ingredient do you hate the most
Anything peanut. Peanut butter is my food hell
Which person in catering have you most admire?
I take a great deal of inspiration from Fergus Henderson. I love everything he does, and I have never had a dull meal at any of the St John restaurants
Cast away on a desert island, what luxury would you take?
An infinite supply of Newcastle Brown Ale. You can take the boy out of Newcastle, but you can't take Newcastle out of the boy
If not for yourself, who would you rather have been?
A bit childish I know, but my football hero, Alan Shearer
If you had not gone into catering, where do you think you would be now?
I've been cooking in restaurants since I was 15, so I'm not really sure. I imagine producing great cheese would be quite rewarding
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