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Revelations: Manu Canales, head chef, Kebab Queen, Maison Bab and the London Restaurant Cooperative

28 August 2020

What was your best subject at school?

I was always outdoorsy and I love nature, so biology came most easily for me

What was your first job?

Picking up garlic bulbs that had been pulled out the ground by a tractor. That was hours of walking and bending down under the sun – hard work!

What do you do to relax?

Wander around the city, exploring new places. A quiet place and a drink does it, too

Which is your favourite restaurant?

For its creativity and exciting food, Ikoyi in London St James's

What is your favourite drink?

A cold lager after service is hugely enjoyed, as well as an outdoor sunset with a glass of wine. When in high spirits, a G&T does the trick

What do you always carry with you?

I live alone, so keys to my

home, I guess!

Which person in catering have you most admired?

Rachel Humphrey, executive chef at Le Gavroche. She's a super-skilled chef who runs the kitchen smoothly, professionally – the strong, silent type who just gets on with it

Which person gave you the greatest inspiration?

Given his scientific approach and curiosity about everything that is food, Heston Blumenthal

Cast away on a desert island, what luxury would you take?

A solar-powered music player with all the music in the world – or unlimited dark chocolate

What daily newspaper/website do you read?

I don't have much time normally, but I check out the BBC and I recently subscribed to The Economist

If not yourself, who would

you rather have been?

An explorer, discovering new places. I still believe I will be that one day

If you had not gone into catering, where do you think you would be now?

Working outdoors in the countryside – scientific research was what

I was going to go into initially

When and where was your last holiday?

Last Christmas at home – friends, family, food and drinks. Great!

What is your favourite prepared product?

Salt and vinegar crisps and dry-roasted peanuts. You can also guess my favourite place to order them!

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Jacobs Media Group is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

The highest official awards for UK businesses since being established by royal warrant in 1965. Read more.

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