How long have you worked at your current restaurant?
I am currently the Head Chef of the Commodore Hotel in Instow, Bideford North Devon, and I have been since January 2020.
Where did your passion for cooking come from and where did you learn your skills?
I learnt my skills on the job. I got into the job purely by accident as I needed a job washing up as a 14-year-old. I gained my passion working for a chef called Jamie Dickson, who taught me a lot in various kitchens.
What do you enjoy most about being a chef?
Being able to get instant gratification from creating plates of food that look great and are enjoyed by the people you are cooking for.
Name three ingredients you couldn’t cook without.
Sea salt, butter and sugar.
Which piece of kitchen equipment couldn’t you live without?
Call me old fashioned, but my gas range.
What do you think is a common mistake that lets chefs down?
Rushing a job.
What is your favourite time of year for food, and why?
I love spring as it’s great for foraging interesting young ingredients.
Which of your dishes are you most proud of?
All of them. They all have equal care and thought.
How do you come up with new dishes?
I use spidergrams for flavours to make sure everything on the plate works together.
Who was your greatest influence?
Jamie Dickson as my early mentor – he lit the passion I have for food.
Tell us three chefs you admire.
Ash Cory, for his commitment and serenity, David Everitt-Matthias for his constant development and Magnus Nilsson at Faviken in Sweden for his use of ingredients.
What is your favourite cookbook?
‘Essence’ by David Everitt-Matthias.
Who do you think are the chefs to watch over the next few months?
Bruce Rennie at The Shore in Penzance, Tom Mackins at The Rusty Stag in Broughton Gifford and Noel Corston in Woolacombe.