Your favourite recipe you cook for yourself?
My go-to is steamed fish in baking paper with whatever veggies are available. Lots of ginger, herbs and a touch of soy.
The one thing you always have in your fridge?
Cheese...any shape or form. I think I could find a cheese to go with every meal.
If you could impart one piece of cooking knowledge to everyone, what would it be?
Your palate is the secret success to cooking. Ideas for dishes are everywhere so don’t stress about inventing things but taste absolutely everything at every process possible. You will eventually have a mental encyclopaedia on how every ingredient will taste in every form, and then work out it’s optimal cooking time and temperature and what it’s best paired with. Mastering your mistakes is a queue to success.
If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Just put me in a straight jacket - I would not survive.
Can you recall the moment when you knew you wanted to pursue a career in food?
I washed dishes as a way to earn money whilst backpacking around the world. The first kitchen that I was in was loud and full of energy, then within a moment a guy rocked up out back in a red sports car and burst into the kitchen. At that moment you could hear a pin drop. He was the top dog - his command of the kitchen was precise, inspiring and like a orchestral conductor. I was hooked instantly.
Your go-to dinner party meal?
Salt crusted chicken.
Who is your food hero?
There are too many chefs to name that inspire me but Anthony Bourdain always struck a chord with me. His brutal honestly for the love of food and how to dissect the isolated life of hospitality will always be in the back of my thoughts. Kitchen Confidential is still one of my favourite books.
What music, if any, do you like to listen to while cooking?
We normally tune the bass up when we are deep in the weeds prepping before a busy service, so anything that has a hard base and high intensity.
Biggest kitchen disaster?
In France we use large gas bottles for the kitchen. Let’s just say I forgot to replace them and they ran out mid service with a full restaurant. We literally had to run down to the end of the village and beg for one from another restaurant. They are a good 50kg so not an easy jog back.
Your guilty pleasure?
Aioli. I sometimes think that everything is just a vessel to eat Aioli.
In all your travels, where have you experienced the best food (and what was it)?
Too hard to name the best but the most surprising was Moscow. The food was outstanding, a lot of it like very refined classic French cuisine.
Is there one cookbook you go back to time and time again?
Sat Bains - calls himself a working class two star and I love his philosophy.
The kitchen utensil you can't live without?
Mandolin and micro plane.
You're currently craving?
Eggs - it’s 9am..they are the substance of life.
Any advice to new cooks?
Work for people who inspire you, take your time and put in the hours. There is more to running a restaurant than cooking. If it is really your dream you will not learn what you need to know jumping from one kitchen to another every six months chasing bigger pay cheques. Write everything down on your journey to look back on. The things you learn that are most valuable you will only realise years later.