Revelations: Great British Menu's Shannon Johnson, head chef, Hicce, London

24 March 2021
Revelations: Great British Menu's Shannon Johnson, head chef, Hicce, London

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?

Coffee

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?

Whiskey sour

What is your favourite food/cuisine?

Mediterranean

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?

My phone

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?

Wine

What daily newspaper/website do you read?

BBC News

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?

Continuously falling

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?

Last night

What's your favourite film?

Avatar

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

Jodie Comer

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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