Chef of the Week: Duncan Dickinson, Chef Proprietor of Herb & Spice Catering in Cheshire

How long have you worked at your current restaurant?
I have owned Herb and Spice for the last 20 years.

Where did your passion for cooking come from and where did you learn your skills? Firstly, my mum was an amazing cook and got me into cooking then whilst traveling in Australia, Cayman Islands and London I learnt my many skills.

What do you enjoy most about being a chef?
It’s so creative and there’s always so many new things to learn.

Name three ingredients you couldn’t cook without.
Onions, olive oil and salt & pepper.

Which piece of kitchen equipment couldn’t you live without?
A hand blender.

What food trends are you spotting at the moment?
Very rustic items.

What do you think is a common mistake that lets chefs down?
Over cooking and under seasoning.

What is your favourite time of year for food, and why?
Summer it’s the colours of the food, the fresh ingredients you can get and the Mediterranean vibe.

Which of your dishes are you most proud of?
I am proud of all the dishes that I create.

How do you come up with new dishes?
By watching other people, reading up on the latest trends and experimenting with different ingredients.

Who was your greatest influence?
There is so many great chefs that I have had the pleasure of working with and learning from.

Tell us three chefs you admire
Marco Pierre white, Anton Mosimann and Albert Roux.

What is your favourite cookbook?
White Heat.

Who do you think are the chefs to watch over the next few months?
Defiantly Roberta Hall McCarron.

What’s been your favourite new restaurant opening of the last year?
To be honest I don’t get a lot of time to go out I’m always too busy working.