Chef revelations: Mario Perera, executive chef, the Dorchester, London

30 July 2021
Chef revelations: Mario Perera, executive chef, the Dorchester, London

What was your best subject at school?

Social studies

What was your first job?

A commis at Taj Samudra in Colombo, Sri Lanka

What do you normally have for breakfast?

My daughter and I both love soft-boiled eggs

Which is your favourite restaurant?

Ministry of Crab in Sri Lanka

What's your favourite hotel?

The Dorchester, it's one of my favourite hotels ever since I first set eyes on it in the early 1990s

What is your favourite drink?

Single malt whisky

What is your favourite food/cuisine?

My favourite food would be steak, but I do love Thai cuisine, there's just so much flavour

Which ingredient do you hate the most?

Fried ingredients. I also don't like to eat liquorice but I do like to cook with it

Which person in catering have you most admired?

As a child it would have to be Rick Stein; later in life, it is my predecessor at the Dorchester, Henry Brosi. I worked with him for 17 years

Which person gave you the greatest inspiration?

Definitely my mum because she's always been very humble, kind, talented and hard-working

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

Clean water

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

I actually wanted to be a pilot

Tell us a secret...

There's a lot of exciting projects to look out for at the Dorchester. We have just announced our rooftop restaurant and bar and we will have a very exciting collaboration later in the year. Stay tuned!

What irritates you most about the industry?

I think we can definitely improve our support of local farmers and producers, and focus more on using local resources

What's your favourite film?

The Hundred-Foot Journey

Who would play "you" in a film about your life?

Someone who is fun, energetic and loves food. Maybe Will Smith

What's your favourite book?

Repertoire: All the Recipes You Need by Jessica Battilana

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