- What would your last meal be?
- Taglierini pasta with Alba white truffle
- What is your most memorable food experience?
- Last year I spent some time in New York on a Gastro tour which included dinner at Thomas Keller’s Per Se restaurant in the Time Warner Building overlooking Central Park. We had the 9 course tasting menu and because they knew we were in a similar business they added 4 extra courses into our menu. We spent many hours there and it was a truly memorable experience!
- What is most likely to ruin your evening when dining out?
- Poor service and/or arrogant staff. I can cope with things going wrong or even the food being less than great if the staff handle my queries or comments well, but when they argue or tell me blatant untruths then I have been known to get quite cross!
- What is the most disgusting thing you’ve ever eaten?
- Whilst Cheryl, my wife, was working in Tokyo, Japan she arranged for some local Japanese colleagues to take me to a traditional restaurant. Amongst the many things I tried was Shiokara with cuttlefish and squid. At the time I had no idea what I was being offered and to be polite I just accepted and ate it. I subsequently discovered it is made by cutting the fish into small pieces and serving it in a brown paste made from the animals' heavily salted and fermented viscera i.e. their internal organs!
- Who or what inspired your career in the food industry?
- Gosh I have many people I could name who have influenced me from my early days, but I guess I would go for my Grandmother. At the age of 13 she went into domestic service in a grand house as a kitchen maid and worked her way up to Head Cook. Not only was she a brilliant cook, but she was also an avid gardener and had a huge garden with vegetables, fruit and flowers not to mention chickens, ducks and pigs. I remember many happy summer holidays helping her to cook in her cottage kitchen and she has been a huge influence on my love of food.