Chef of the Week: Curtis Poole – Head Pastry Chef at D&D London

How long have you worked at your current restaurant?
I have currently been back with D&D since January after a 6 year gap, before then I was head pastry chef at Paternoster Chop House and Skylon.

Where did your passion for cooking come from and where did you learn your skills?
My passion for cooking came from my mother and father, both being massive foodies I naturally enjoyed cooking as well, although not my first choice of work. Stupidly fell in love which made me forget about my military SAS dream, decided to attend bath city college, and absolutely hated pastry, my teacher practically had to drag me into the lesson lol.

What do you enjoy most about being a chef?
The thing I enjoy most about being a chef is its fast pace, not just in the kitchen but the entire fashion of food, easily moves just as fast as the clothing fashion, its also a real delight to make food that people love,

Name three ingredients you couldn’t cook without.
That’s a real easy one being a pastry chef – butter, eggs and flour!

Which piece of kitchen equipment couldn’t you live without?
Kitchen Aid.

What food trends are you spotting at the moment?
Collaborations with other companies, like my halo top afternoon tea, and my tonys chocolonley afternoon tea, people really like seeing brands that they know and its even better when you can enjoy them in different ways

What do you think is a common mistake that lets chefs down?
That’s a tricky question, I think if your not in it 100% find something else, laziness and lack of attention to detail. Why stop at something when there’s always something better to achieve.

What is your favourite time of year for food, and why?
For my menus its summer, there’s such a huge variety of produce to use and a million ways to use them. But if its me eating it I love the winter, big fat stodgy puddings, none of this fancy rubbish when it comes to me ordering dessert, bread n butter pudding with custard please.

Which of your dishes are you most proud of?
That’s another really hard question because after finishing a menu and tasting it and finally being 100% happy with it I’ve already thought of something better I would like to do.

How do you come up with new dishes?
Writing menus is easy when you have a strong team, I get my team together to come up with ideas, flouring matches and textures, sometimes its rough but most of the time its great, I think a big part in menus and dishes is to remember your not cooking for yourself so familiarity is a real big one to take into consideration.

Who was your greatest influence?
Antonio Bachour,  John Machin and Simon Gregory.

Tell us three chefs you admire
Simon Gregory, Dan Blucert and Dan Hodson.

What is your favourite cookbook?
Honestly I cant remember the last time I picked a cookbook up. But at home if im cooking savoury food il have a look at what ive got on the shelf. Tom Kerridge is my go to book.

Who do you think are the chefs to watch over the next few months?
Instagram @thetattooedpastrychef

What’s been your favourite new restaurant opening of the last year?
I’m a chef I haven’t been to a new restaurant in quite a while lol!