Five minutes with… Jamie May

The head chef at Marlow’s The Hand & Flowers on the legend that is Tom Kerridge, wearing flip flops out of the kitchen and inviting Jimmy White to tea

Food and Drink 7 Nov 2019

Chocolate Cake at The Hand & Flowers
Chicken and Mushroom Pie at The Hand & Flowers
Lovage Soup at The Hand & Flowers

What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given in your career and why? 

Find a good restaurant, get your head down, work hard and focus. Always have faith because the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. Showing your loyalty to someone always pays off. I started with Tom Kerridge eight years ago and as he and his businesses have grown, he has helped me grow along with him/them.

 Who is your role model and how have they influenced you in your work?

 Well that’s a no brainer – it’s Tom Kerridge. He has not only influenced me in my work, but has influenced me in my life choices. Now I also enjoy a healthier lifestyle by respecting my body.

 What ingredient can you not live without and why?

I’d have two – salt and butter. Everything tastes better with a little bit of butter, while salt helps to enhance the ingredients’ natural flavours.

What item, apart from your passport, can you not travel without?

Havaianas flip flops as I just want comfort when I’m out of the kitchen.

Where is your favourite place to eat in London?

 Arbutus, which is no longer open, but very excited about [chef] Anthony [Demetre’s] new opening at the St James hotel.

 What do you like the most about your favourite London restaurant?

Arbutus provided simple, honest and non-fussy food but very well executed.

What do you like to do on a day off?

Go to the gym, have some time to relax, and then play around with some new dish ideas.

Apart from food, what are your biggest passions?

I’m passionate about exercising, keeping fit and staying healthy. I also think that determination and passion come hand in hand and I continually work as hard as possible and am always striving to be successful in career I’m passionate about.

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

Jimmy White, he was my idol when I was a teenager. He made me want to be a professional snooker player. However, if I invite him I should probably also invite “The Rocket” Ronnie O’Sullivan as that would be a perfect dinner party.