What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given in your career and why?
Learn as much as you can from each and every moment you live. Learn from your mistakes and work hard, rewards will come.
Who is your role model and how have they influenced you in your work?
My role models are my parents. From a young age they have always shown me how to have a good work ethic and how to lead by example. They have always worked really hard running their business throughout their lives while bringing up four kids. They still do so now at 62, sometimes working 80-hour weeks. They are and will always be my heroes. With regards to people in the industry, I have to mention Ollie Dabbous. I have worked with Ollie for around 4.5 years now and he has taught me so much. The way he looks at food and mixes flavours, it’s like no other chef I have worked with before. I also have to give a special mention to Phil Howard: I only worked with him for a short period of time but the man is a living legend. He cooks from the heart with a real passion and respect for the produce he uses. When we opened Elystan Street he was there every single day doing more hours than anyone else and leading by example, he put us all to shame at the age of 50. He is a true gentleman – you won’t ever meet a nicer man!
What ingredient can you not live without and why?
Salt. Everything is lacking without, also lemon and garlic are key ingredients in my cooking.
What item, apart from your passport, can you not travel without?
My phone is my life, unfortunately.
Where is your favourite place to eat in London?
Depends on my mood and how much I want to spend but Bao, Perilla and The Ledbury are all doing amazing things in their own fields.
What do you like to do on a day off?
Relax with the family, eat out, cinema, gym, just the usual.
Apart from food/ hospitality, what are your biggest passions?
I am about to have a baby boy in November, so I would say that will be it. Plus, travelling. I love seeing new places.
If you could choose anyone from today or history, who would be your ideal dinner party guest and why?
I would choose my girlfriend. We don’t get to spend much time together alone and quite frankly she is the best company, but then I would have Marvin Gaye and Diana Ross just singing the night away in the corner. Music just makes everything that little bit better.