What is the name of the current restaurant you work at and how long have you worked there?
Hilton Hotels Corporate Chef UK & Ireland, I have been in this position 1 year.
Give a brief overview of your career.
Worked in restaurants, hotels, holiday resorts and stadia. The last 23 years I have been in Executive Chef roles for De Vere Hotels 8 years, IHG 1.5 years, Macdonald Hotels 7 years (2 of these a Group Development Chef), Hilton Hotels 6 years, 5 years as Executive Chef of Hilton Manchester Deansgate, then moved onto my current role.
Where did you learn your skills/culinary education?
I attended day release college at Halton College in Widnes, whilst I was working full time.
What do you enjoy most about being a chef?
Being able to create from a blank canvas or take influence from others, suppliers and chefs. Most important is the chef brigade you work with, they are your dysfunctional family but you will do anything for them to protect them and develop them. Some require an arm around them some require directness, some require both, every chef is different and their development is at different pace to everyone else, being able to manage this and keep a motivated brigade is the skill I thrive from.
Which of your dishes are you most proud of?
There are too many to mention, devising bespoke menus for customers with a certain brief is always exciting when you can exceed their expectations, this make the job worthwhile.
How do you come up with new dishes?
I look at trends, Instagram, my fellow colleagues and eat out when I can. In my current role I go out to restaurants a lot more than I used to as an Executive Chef, finding time is always hard when you run a busy kitchen.
Who was your greatest influence?
Anthony Bourdain for his rock star coolness and Raymond Blanc for his technical prowess and perfection in his cooking.
What is your favourite cookbook?
Kitchen Confidential (not really a cookbook), so I would have to say Essence by David Everitt- Matthias, Le Champignon Sauvage. The striking colours and textures of the dishes are perfection and a joy for any chef to try and recreate.