Chef of the Week – Josh Singleton, Head Chef at Embankment Kitchen in Manchester
How long have you worked at your current restaurant?
I’ve worked at my current restaurant since September 2022.
Where did your passion for cooking come from and where did you learn your skills?
My passion for cooking came from my grandad and cooking with him as a child and then watching cooking shows when I was younger made me want to do it professionally. I learnt my skills at college doing my level 2 and 3 NVQ, but my first real job as a chef was at Mottram Hall hotel near Macclesfield.
What do you enjoy most about being a chef?
The thing I love most about being a chef is the creativity and passion that comes with the job, and the learning and growth that comes with it.
Name three ingredients you couldn’t cook without.
Three ingredients I can’t cook without is salt, white wine vinegar and limes.
Which piece of kitchen equipment couldn’t you live without?
I think the equipment I cant live without is probably my blender.
What food trends are you spotting at the moment?
Food trends at the moment seem to be coming away from fine dining foods and more home comfort or street food dishes that and full of flavour but not pretentious.
What do you think is a common mistake that lets chefs down?
A big mistake that I think let’s chefs down is they know everything or that they don’t need to learn more. Chefs that stop learning or stop trying new things and methods should get out of the industry.
What is your favourite time of year for food, and why?
My favourite time of the year is autumn, my reason for this is the ingredients and types of food in that season such as venison, damsons, squashes and mushrooms.
Which of your dishes are you most proud of?
I’m proud of all my dishes. I don’t have a favourite or specific one I’m proud of because it’s the method and process you use to create a dish that I’m proud of not the ingredients.
How do you come up with new dishes?
The way I come up with a dish is to find out what’s in season at that time of year, select a protein and then find vegetables and fruit that work well with it. I always make sure I have something pickled on there as well whether it’s a vegetable or fruit and I try to use other starches rather than potato.
Who was your greatest influence?
My greatest influence was my college tutor Mark Boswell, who took me under his wing and helped become the chef I am today.
Tell us three chefs you admire.
Three chefs I admire are Sat Bains, Rene Redzepi and Rick Stein.
What is your favourite cookbook?
My favourite cook book is Sat Bains’, ‘Too many chiefs, only one Indian.’ I think it’s an incredibly knowledgeable book that any chef should have.
Who do you think are the chefs to watch over the next few months?
I’m not too sure which up and coming chef are ones to watch at the moment.
What’s been your favourite new restaurant opening of the last year?
My favourite new restaurant that has opened in the last year is a place called Libertine in Manchester as I like the idea and what they are doing there.