Chef of the Week: Prasad Desai, Head Chef at Alec’s Restaurant in Brentwood

How long have you worked at your current restaurant?
One and half years.

Where did your passion for cooking come from and where did you learn your skills?
From my mother, I learnt my skills from her in the beginning and later studied hotel and business management.

What do you enjoy most about being a chef?
Being creative, meeting different people and most important taste various food and dishes.

Name three ingredients you couldn’t cook without.
Maldon salt, thyme and butter.

Which piece of kitchen equipment couldn’t you live without?
Thermomix and my spoon.

What food trends are you spotting at the moment?
Small plates tapas style is popular in all cuisines.

What do you think is a common mistake that lets chefs down?
Not being organised.

What is your favourite time of year for food, and why?
Winter, beautiful root veg is in season and gives creativity to chef to play around as well get ready for Christmas.

Which of your dishes are you most proud of?
White onion soup and fillet with mushroom ketchup.

How do you come up with new dishes?
See what’s in season and speak to the suppliers.

Who was your greatest influence?
My mum.

Tell us three chefs you admire.
Gordon Ramsay, Jason Atherton and Kerth Gumbs.

What is your favourite cookbook?
Three Star by Gordon Ramsay.

Who do you think are the chefs to watch over the next few months?
Kerth Gumbs and Rafael Cagali.

What’s been your favourite new restaurant opening of the last year?