Chef of the Week: DJ Platt, Private Chef in The Midlands

How long have you worked at your current restaurant?
I have been a private chef and doing my own pop-ups for the last year and half.

Where did your passion for cooking come from and where did you learn your skills?
I first discovered my passion for cooking whilst cooking with family. Since leaving college, I have worked a good mix of gastro pubs, Michelin restaurants, hotels and patisseries. As a result, I have been very fortunate to have worked with some incredible chef that have taught me a wide range of skills.

What do you enjoy most about being a chef?
Being able to be creative and using some of the best local ingredients.

Name three ingredients you couldn’t cook without.
Butter, stock and soy sauce.

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

What food trends are you spotting at the moment?
A food trend that really excites me now, is chefs rediscovering the classics and putting them back on the menu whilst adding their own spin on it.

What do you think is a common mistake that lets chefs down?
I think for me, chefs who can’t take constructive criticism. Without this, you will never move forward and will keep repeating the same mistakes.

What is your favourite time of year for food, and why?
I find summer to be the best time. There is such wide verity of local British produce and is really good time to go foraging.

Which of your dishes are you most proud of?
The dish I am most proud of is my strawberries and cream baked Alaska.

How do you come up with new dishes?
I find going to eat out really helps to get my mind working and helps me to come up with new dishes.

Who was your greatest influence?
My biggest influences, who really got me into thinking of becoming a chef, would have been Heston Blumenthal and Gordon Ramsay.

Tell us three chefs you admire.

What is your favourite cookbook?
Momofuku by David Chang.

Who do you think are the chefs to watch over the next few months?
The chefs to watch over the next few months for me are Sam Hill, the chef/owner of  Koba Ko in Kings Heath. Also, Chef Pete Jackson, he has just taken over as head chef at the Wildmoor Oak pub in Bromsgrove and he’s producing some real tasty food.

What’s been your favourite new restaurant opening of the last year?
My favourite restaurant opening of last year, would have to be Nessa in Soho by Tom Cenci. The food is incredible, simple, clean and relatable. Best dish I ate was the strawberry jelly and ice cream. It was nostalgic.