Can you explain a bit more about the Taster concept and how the idea came about?
Taster creates delivery-only food brands and operates them from kitchens that don’t have restaurants attached, allowing our chefs to focus 100 per cent on the food. We’ve launched six food brands in the last two years, including our three latest concepts: A Burgers, a plant-based burger joint, Stacksando, a celebration of katsu sandos and Japanese convenience food created with Tim Anderson (MasterChef UK winner), and Take-Out-Thai, a flavour-packed Thai street food concept made in collaboration with John Chantarasak (twice shortlisted as YBF’s ‘Chef of the Year’).
What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given in your career and why?
It’s not exactly advice, but at Deliveroo I was lucky enough to be working with people who really believed in me, trusted me, and made me feel confident. That environment isn’t always easy to create, but it’s something I was truly grateful for and have carried with me – it’s what I try to instill in the team at Taster.
Who is your role model and how have they influenced you in your work?
William Shu, who founded Deliveroo, inspired me to become a founder myself. His vision was clear, innovative and ambitious – that really drove his team forward and I’ve tried to bring the same approach to Taster.
What item, apart from your passport, can you not travel without?
My musk cologne. It’s really part of me everywhere I go. I spend a lot of time in our kitchens, so it’s nice to smell like something that isn’t food once in a while!
Where is your favourite place to eat in London?
You’ll find me at Sutton and Sons in Stoke Newington virtually every weekend.
What do you like the most about your favourite London restaurant?
It’s a traditional, family-owned fish and chips place. The food is so good, fresh and I particularly love the friendly atmosphere. Also, they do a mind-blowing lobster sub as a special!
What do you like to do on a day off?
What’s a day off?! Joking aside, I spend time with my wife and kids and always try to have at least one night per week with friends. During the day, I’m currently trying to teach my son how to cook classic French food. Teaching him about flavours and ingredients, and showing him basic cooking techniques.
Apart from food, what are your biggest passions?
I love surfing. I spend most of my time in London or Paris with work, but I have a little place by the sea in Portugal that’s perfect for recharging and getting a little sanity back when needed. That’s a shoot of energy. After one surfing session, I feel like I’ve spent six weeks on holiday.
If you could choose anyone from today or history, who would be your ideal dinner party guest and why?
Without hesitation I’d pick Gérard Depardieu. He’s a living legend of French cinema, an epicurean without borders, and the personification of the French ‘bon vivant’. He was in this TV series a few years ago with chef Laurent Audiot called A Pleines Dents! (the English version’s called Bon Appetit: Gérard Depardieu’s Europe ), where they go around Europe in search of the best food and meet regional producers. They taste Weisswurst in Germany, grilled snails in Catalonia, haggis in Scotland, sauerkraut in Bavaria… The man’s a food god. Dinner with him would be very fun!