How long have you worked at your current restaurant?
I have been running Cocorico Patisserie for just over 10 years.
Where did your passion for cooking come from and where did you learn your skills?
I wanted to be a pastry chef as long as can remember, at the age of 14 I went to catering college to learn to cook, then I did a further 3 years of an apprenticeship to become a pastry chef and baker.
What do you enjoy most about being a chef?
The pleasure that it gives to people.
Name three ingredients you couldn’t cook without.
Chocolate, fruits and nuts.
Which piece of kitchen equipment couldn’t you live without?
Without a shadow of a doubt it’s a plastic scraper!
What food trends are you spotting at the moment?
I really enjoy Mexican, I’m not sure if that’s the trend but I love cooking it as well as eating it.
What do you think is a common mistake that lets chefs down?
To think that they know everything.
What is your favourite time of year for food, and why?
I love Christmas time because it feels like you can push the boat out a bit more with luxurious products and you get to share with people you love.
Which of your dishes are you most proud of?
I probably would go for an entremet that I created for the “Best Apprentice in France” competition that was selected in 1998,after that the patisserie I worked for had it for sale for about 20 years. It was a nougat mousse with a raspberry coulis centre.
How do you come up with new dishes?
I like to start with the main ingredient and build around it with other flavour always thinking of textures along the way.
Who was your greatest influence?
Pierre Herme was and still is the most famous pastry chef in the world.
Tell us three chefs you admire
- Pierre Herme
- Jordi Bordas
- Frank Hasnoo
What is your favourite cookbook?
It’s Chocolate by Ramon Morato.
Who do you think are the chefs to watch over the next few months?
I think Leyli Joon is doing amazing things on the Cardiff street food scene.
What’s been your favourite new restaurant opening of the last year?
We always enjoy going to Tommy Heaney’s, I know it’s been almost 2 years since he opened!