Interviewed October 2019
- Q. How long have you been cooking professionally?
A. For 30 years now. I started as an apprentice at Claridge’s Hotel at the age of 16. It’s been quite the journey……
- Q. Where did you train to cook?
A. I was lucky enough to be selected for the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts specialised chef course, still the most highly regarded training scheme for a young chef. This course was linked to my apprenticeship at the incredible Claridge’s Hotel.
- Q. How would you describe your style of cooking?
A. We cook by the seasons and are inspired by them but are led by quality ingredients and simple cooking methods. Our food at Trinity is not fussy or confusing, it is food you want to eat and can recognise on the plate. Although we have been open for thirteen years, I still feel that the food is up to date and of the moment.
- Q. Is there a secret for a successful restaurant?
A. There are no secrets to hard work and dedication, applying yourself, being confident in what you do, approaching hospitality with professionalism and always try to put yourself into the position of the diner who is ultimately the recipient of all of that hard work.
- Q. Do you have a "signature dish" or favourite dish you enjoy cooking?
A. Not really, we change our menus often, but the style remains the same. I would say that the way we cook and present food is now a signature of the restaurant. If I were to come for dinner at Trinity I would eat the mackerel dish with plums, the hand cut pasta dish of the season, the turbot with bonne femme sauce and a salted caramel custard tart. That would give you a rounded experience of Trinity.
- Q. Which restaurant do you most enjoy eating at on your night off?
A. I have four restaurants, generally speaking I will eat in one of my own, it’s really healthy to see it from the other side as a guest.
- Q. What is your most interesting or fun experience from your time in restaurants?
A. Probably as a young cook on the stove when all that mattered was being ready for service and finding two matching socks… I cooked in the 90’s and it was a magical time for the UK restaurant scene. It will never be repeated sadly.
- Q. What would be your "last request" dish?
A. A plate of langoustines freshly cooked with mayonnaise please.
- Q. Is there another chef that you most admire?
A. I have a great deal of respect for any chef that owns a restaurant, keeps its team and guests happy, makes a profit and wins accolades, it’s not easy. I am a mentor for the S. Pellegrino Young Chef competition and seeing these young cooks give it their all for the opportunity to be recognised on a world stage is very inspirational.
- Q. Any advice you would give to someone wanting to become a chef?
A. As well as working hard, focusing and choosing the right places to work, you need to get recognised, entering into a competition such as the San Pellegrino will get a young cook onto a stage where he can be in front of the best cooks in the world.
- Q. Any final thoughts you'd like to share e.g. new developments at the restaurant?
A. I have just opened at Brown’s Hotel in Mayfair, a big challenge for me but one I am loving getting my teeth into. My grandfather was a bell boy there in the 1950’s.