Ahead of her appearance on Great British Menu this evening, we caught up with Shannon Johnson, head chef at Hicce, London.
What was your best subject at school?
Art and food
What was your first job?
Receptionist in a Chinese takeaway
What was your first job in catering?
Commis on the local pub
What do you normally have for breakfast?
What do you do to relax?
A hot bath and a glass of red wine
Which is your favourite restaurant?
One of my favourites is Casse-Croûte – it's classic french, on Bermondsey high street
What is your favourite drink?
What is your favourite food/cuisine?
Which ingredient do you hate the most?
Wasabi! Get in the bin
Are there any foods/ingredients that you refuse to cook with? If so, why?
Tofu – it tastes like edible rubber
What flavour combinations do you detest?
Sushi – here's some overpriced, cold stodgy rice with raw fish
What do you always carry with you?
How would you describe your desk?
It's in a bag that I carry around
Which person in catering have you most admired?
Two people mainly – Diego Cardosa (previous head chef at Murano before Pip Lacey). I worked with him as I started becoming a senior chef, he really gave me confidence to become a strong sous. And Pip Lacey, who gave me the opportunity to be her head chef and has given me the skills to progress in my career
Which person gave you the greatest inspiration?
When I was younger I loved watching Raymond Blanc – he loves food, wine and life! I knew I wanted to learn classic cooking from watching him. That's why I went to college and became classically trained.
Cast away on a desert island, what luxury would you take?
What daily newspaper/website do you read?
If not yourself, who would you rather have been?
I know he's a man, but Freddie Mercury (what a legend)
If you had not gone into catering, where do you think you would be now?
Something to do with art, like a graphic designer or an architect
Describe your ultimate nightmare?
When and where was your last holiday?
Spain, where my grandad lives
What irritates you most about the industry?
The snowflake generation (but I'm probably not allowed to say that)
When did you last eat a hamburger?
What's your favourite film?
Who would play "you" in a film about your life?
What's your favourite book?
I wish I did read books
What is your favourite prepared product?
Chilli heatwave Doritos
If you had more time, what would you do?
Become a scientist and cure cancer
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