Chef revelations: Tomás Gormley, co-head chef/owner, Heron, Leith

16 July 2021
Chef revelations: Tomás Gormley, co-head chef/owner, Heron, Leith

What was your best subject at school?

I always did pretty well in music and drama

What was your first job?

Cleaning paintbrushes at a painter and decorators on a Saturday morning. It was basically not even a job but I got paid for it so I wasn't complaining

What was your first job in catering?

Cooking at the Fountain Cafe on Grove Street in Edinburgh. The tunes and the craic were great

What do you do to relax?

When I'm in the mood, running or reading, when I'm not, cooking something simple (and terrible for me) with a good playlist on

Which is your favourite restaurant?

There's so many! The last great meal I had in Edinburgh was at Borough, which is on the same street as our restaurant

What is your favourite cuisine?

I really enjoy Middle Eastern cuisine. It's great to cook for a crowd and my girlfriend (who is from there) is great at pointing out how I'm doing it wrong

What is your favourite drink?

Vichy Catalan, a natural, sparkling water. There's nothing else like it

What flavour combinations do you detest?

I don't understand why you would ruin a perfectly good tuna mayo sandwich by adding sweetcorn

Which person in catering have you most admired?

Lorna McNee was really inspiring to work with, always ready to help if I needed it

When and where was your last holiday?

Lisbon in 2019, a really great culinary city with no shortage of exciting places to eat

What's your favourite film?

Hunt for the Wilderpeople by Taika Waititi is one of my all-time favourites. Very, very funny and with a great soundtrack

What's your favourite book?

The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov

What is your favourite prepared product?

Lee Kum Kee chilli garlic sauce

Who would be in your "fantasy" brigade?

Two of my fantasy brigade, Sam Yorke and Euan Sibbald, work with me at Heron, but I would also poach James Toth from Cornerstone, Rosie Healey from Alchemilla and Roberta Hall-McCarron from the Little Chartroom

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