Five minutes with… Will Bowlby

The head chef and co-founder of Kricket on travelling to India, Tupac and probiotics

People 26 Feb 2020

Will Bowlby, head chef and co-founder of Kricket
Pumpkin curry
Dishes for sharing at Kricket including Iberico suckling pig
Kricket also offers a variety of small plates that blend British ingredients with Indian-inspired flavours
Kricket, White City

What plans do you have for Kricket’s future?

We currently have three restaurants, but it’s possible we’ll open another Kricket in London at some point. It’s even more possible that we’ll open overseas, but close to home to begin with – somewhere in Europe: Amsterdam is probably top of the list. No one likes Indian food as much as Brits, but there is an appetite for it in other countries. Growing sustainably and keeping what we have is the most important thing to us.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

The best advice I’ve been given about running a business was from my old boss before I moved to India. He told me the key to running a kitchen and being a boss was to maintain a good, honest relationship with staff, but know where the line is – where the jokes stop and work starts.

Who is your role model?

Apart from my mum and dad it would be one of my previous bosses and teachers such as Rowley Leigh. I now look up to Pierre Koffmann too – he’s been a huge support to me over the past five years. Chef Vivek Singh has been a huge influence on my career too.

What ingredient can you not live without?

Butter. I like it best on hot crumpets.

What do you always take with you when you travel?

Probiotics, especially when I’m going to India. It means I can eat what I want with limited consequences. I also always have a power bank and laptop with me as I have to work; and a book about India or food, or both, which I never get round to reading.

What are your favourite London restaurants?

A.Wong – I love Chinese food. Perilla in Newington Green – it’s worth crossing London for, I’ve never had a bad meal there. And I also really like Naughty Piglets in Brixton.

Outside of food, what are your passions?

I love to travel, especially in India. Any excuse and I’ll be on a plane there. I particularly like Mumbai as I used to live there so feel slightly at home in the city and I also go to Goa every year. I really like history too, especially the history of India. And football, I’m a Chelsea supporter through and through.

What do you like to do on a day off?

Is there such a thing as a day off? If I do ever get one, I’m either really lazy so I can catch up on energy or I go to Sussex to see family. I also try and eat well as my diet as a chef isn’t brilliant.

If you could choose anyone from today or history, who would be your ideal dinner party guest and why?

Tupac, as I really like his music and he had a lot to say for himself. I think he’d be really entertaining.