Revelations: Sami Harvey, head chef, the Laundry, London

15 September 2023
Revelations: Sami Harvey, head chef, the Laundry, London

We delve into the life and inner thoughts of a top chef. This week: Sami Harvey, head chef at the Laundry, London

What was your best subject at school?

Maths and geography

What was your first job?

At Big Dog at Accor Stadium during the Sydney Olympics

What do you normally have for breakfast?

Vegemite on toast

Which is your favourite restaurant?

The Laundry

What's your favourite hotel?

The Park Hyatt Sydney

What is your favourite drink?

A margarita

What is your favourite cuisine?


Which ingredient do you hate the most?

Anchovies – its the little fur on them that I can't cope with

Are there any foods/ingredients that you refuse to cook with?

I have no idea how to deal with a durian – how do you get past the smell?

What flavour combinations do you detest?

Maple syrup and bacon

Which person in catering have you most admired?

Chantelle Nicholson

Which person gave you the greatest inspiration?

My mum and dad – always my biggest champions and so supportive of what I do

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

Can I take two? All the cheese and factor 50 sun cream

If not yourself, who would you rather have been?

David Attenborough

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

I thought I wanted to be a physiotherapist, so who knows

What irritates you most about the industry?

That many people still don't view it as a professional career and the ongoing recruitment battle

What's your favourite film?

Dirty Dancing

What's your favourite book?

Anything by Nigel Slater and Unreasonable Hospitality by Will Guidara is incredibly insightful

What is your favourite prepared product?

Ravioli or tortellini as I never get around to making them for myself

If you had more time, what would you do?

Travel the world and eat everything – except anchovies

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