Joseph Baker - Kikkoman Masters 2019 Finalist

Find out more about Kikkoman Masters 2019 finalist Joseph Baker.

Name - Joseph Baker

Age - 40

Current Restaurant - Rolls Royce Motor Cars (Graysons Restaurants), Chichester

Previous Restaurants - Rick Stein’s Fish & Shellfish – Winchester, Chewton Glen – New Milton, Rick Stein’s Seafood Restaurant - Padstow

Hometown - Winchester

Favourite Hobbies - Spending time with my wife and children, Cycling, Golf, Fishing, Snooker and jumping out of perfectly good aeroplanes.

Favourite Cookbook - Flavour Thesaurus by Niki Segnit

Favourite Kitchen Gadget - The Thermomix

Joseph Baker Joseph Baker

Kikkoman Masters Dishes -

Starter - Soy Infused Silken Tofu, Trio of Cauliflowers, Squash and Ginger Puree, Lotus Root Crisp
Main - Soy and Miso Braised Fillet of Brill, Vermicellli, Carrot, Courgette and Soy Noodles, Cauliflower and Wasabi Puree, Soy Butter Sauce

Previous Competitions Entered - ACE Ready Steady Cook Finalist 2018, ACE Ready Steady Cook Finalist 2019

What is your first food memory - Sat in a French Restaurant with my family at the age of about ten watching my younger sister’s face as her meal was delivered to her. By mistake she had ordered a “Fruit De Mere” and my parent’s translation of the menu was slightly inaccurate.

Who has influenced your cooking the most - My time with the Rick Stein team has influenced my style of cooking massively by using quality ingredients simply. Heston Blumenthal took food and how we think about cooking to a completely new level. I have also taken a large amount of inspiration from people I have worked alongside over the years.

Why did you become a chef - I was a Hotel Catering Manager and was spending more and more time in the kitchen questioning the chefs on what they were doing and why. I spent my days off cooking for friends and family. The Head Chef at the Hotel asked if I would be interested in a position in the kitchen as a trainee chef which I accepted. It wasn’t long before I moved to Padstow.

Where did you train - Rick Stein’s Seafood Restaurant – Padstow. Following that I learnt a huge amount during my time in Event Catering

What did you want to be when you grew up - I have been fascinated by fish since a very early age and wanted to study Marine Biology

Who are your favourite chefs - Rick Stein has influenced me for many years since childhood. Tom Kerridge is an absolute gentleman. I also have huge respect for Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall because of his down to earth approach to cooking and his passion for protecting the planet. I love the way Heston Blumenthal thinks about a meal as a story.

Other than your restaurant, what is your favourite restaurant - It would have to be the Seafood Restaurant in Padstow. It will always be a very special place for me

What music do you enjoy cooking to - When I am cooking at home I enjoy listening to world folk music like Manu Chao, Afro Celt Sound System, Michael McGoldrick and Flook

What was the last book you read - The Kill Zone by Chris Ryan

What is your favourite ingredient (apart from Kikkoman Soy Sauce) - Salt.

What do you think is the next food trend - I think street food is going to go to the next level and vendors will start serving beautifully presented fine dining food from the back of catering trailers, hopefully integrated with plant based ideas which will make people think about where their food comes from and how it effects the planet.

What food is your guilty pleasure - Moules Mariniere with Crusty Bread, followed by a tub of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream.

Is there one food you really don’t like - Coconut and Almond.

Worst kitchen nightmare - Burning myself badly on either arm just before a four hour service, especially if I’m on sauce.

Most memorable meal - My wife treated me to a meal at ‘The Fat Duck’ for my 40th Birthday last year and the whole experience blew me away.

Last meal on earth - Lobster Thermidor

Celebrity you would most like to:
Cook for -
Keith Floyd. After watching him for so many years it would be interesting to see his reaction to modern cooking techniques
Dine with - Sir David Attenborough. It would be very interesting to see what he ordered and to just be able to speak with him would be an incredible conversation

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