What was your best subject at school?
Maths, and then later cooking when I went to catering school
What was your first job?
I used to help my father in our furniture shop, which was the family business. Not long after that I started as a chef, aged 16
What do you normally have for breakfast?
I'm Italian, so it used to just be coffee, but since I moved to the UK 20 years ago, I train in the morning, so now I like to have something more substantial like scrambled eggs or granola. But always an espresso first!
What do you do to relax?
Sports – especially cycling, weights and pilates
Which is your favourite restaurant?
The new Oren in Dalston – it is incredible Israeli food. That and Oklava in Shoreditch
What's your favourite hotel?
The Peninsula Shanghai – I went a couple of years ago. The service, the room... I stayed in a superior suite and it was incredible
What is your favourite drink?
A Negroni, either a classic or with any slight twists. If I'm celebrating, then some expensive bubbles
What is your favourite cuisine?
Italian – I know that's a boring thing to say, but when I go home and eat my mum's and my grandma's food, it is always the best. I've also recently started to appreciate Israeli food
Which ingredient do you hate the most?
Even after 20 years of living here I still don't get Marmite. Peppers and artichokes are a no for me, but I do use them on my menus
What flavour combinations do you detest?
Chocolate and mint. Also cheese on seafood
If not yourself, who would you rather have been?
If I'd not been a chef, I would have been pilot or gone into the world of sports
Which person in catering have you most admired?
What's your favourite book?
Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain
What's your favourite film?
Any film with Al Pacino and Robert de Niro – the Italian in America vibe
What is your favourite prepared product?
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