Kikkoman Masters Dishes -
Starter - Soy salt baked
carrot, carrot chutney, ketchup and pickle, ricotta, beurre noisette croutons
Main - Soy glazed rare breed pork fillet, seared hand dived scallop, pot roast celeriac, apple puree, celeriac & apple salad
Previous Competitions Entered - MasterChef the
professionals 2009(runner-up), RA chef of the year 2011(runner-up), NCOTY
2017(semi-finalist), Kikkoman Masters 2018(finalist).
What Is Your First Food Memory - Picking brambles and
baking with my Grandma during the school summer holidays as a young kid. Also
picking big field mushrooms with my dad and cooking them for breakfast.
Who has influenced your cooking the most - Having worked at Le
Gavroche its really hard not to mention Michel Roux Jnr as what I learn at Le
Gavroche was priceless. However, I went to Le Gavroche as a slightly mature
chef at the age of 26. So the person who actually influenced me most was my
head chef before I went to Le Gavroche, his name is Phil Hall and he was the
head chef at Matfen Hall hotel, I worked under Phil for over 3 years and worked
my way up to became his snr sous chef, it wasn’t always plain sailing, he had
me at a time when I was questioning my career decision, something which I feel
a lot of chefs around the age of 23-24 will experience, and it was Phil who
took me under his wing, he taught me so much about food, about cooking but also
about how to be myself and to have confidence in myself and my ability, it was
Phil who pushed me to do MasterChef the Professionals in 2009 which then opened
the door to my future. I owe him a lot and I’ll never forget the work he put in
to make me the best chef I could be at a time when I was finding the industry a
hard one to make it in.
Why did you become a chef - That age-old story of not working hard enough at school really limited me to what I could do in the area I grew up in. I always enjoyed it in a kitchen and had done my work experience in a local hotel which I really liked, so I signed up at college to do an NVQ in catering, and the rest as they say is history.
What did you want to be when you grew up - A Pilot
Who are your favourite chefs - Michel Roux Jnr
having worked for him I know what a fantastic person he is, and what him and
the roux family as a whole have done for our industry. Also, Jason Atherton, I
admire the work he has done to build his empire and on top of that his food is
some the very best I’ve had.
What food is your guilty pleasure - Cheese on toast with loads of HP sauce
Celebrity you would most like to -
Cook for - David Attenborough – the mans a rock star! He’s changed the way we view our planet; it would be an honour to cook for him.
Dine with - Robson Green (actor/presenter/singer). I’d love to dine with Robson based on the fact I think we’d have a fair bit in common, we’re both Northumbria lads, both massive Newcastle United fans and both love fishing. I’d also really like to pitch him an idea of reinventing his Extreme Fishing program to become Extreme Fishing & Cooking, I’d love to go with him, then cook everything he catches in some amazing extreme environments. It would be a bit like Floyd gone wild.