Interviewed July 2013
How long have you been cooking professionally?
I have been cooking professionally for 27 years. Due to a rather quick exit from school it forced me into getting a job and I opted to become a chef.
Where did you train to cook?
I first started my real training as a chef was when I had the chance to work with the most flamboyant television chef, the late Keith Floyd. He was instrumental to the way I learnt to cook and still is to this day.
How would you describe your style of cooking?
I would say classic techniques with a modern twist. As I’ve been around in the trade for a long time my styles have changed over the years from the 80s style nouvelle cuisine to the more trendy “lotions and potions” style cooking.
Is there a secret for a successful restaurant?
I think the secret to a great restaurant is being able to adapt to change and to have a good understanding of value for money.
Do you have a “signature dish” or favourite dish you enjoy cooking?
As I'm surrounded by some of the most stunning produce any respecting chef would kill for, I have a lot of different first class ingredients to work including lobster, hand dived scallops and Jersey beef so I'm spoilt for choice. If I had to mention one dish it would be my signature dish of my Assiette of Jersey beef with lobster, dauphinoise cappuccino and beef consommé. A real taste of Jersey.
Do you have a favourite ingredient?
When I was training I would never eat oysters because of the way they filter their food and if the water conditions were tainted you could become very ill. However, when I moved to Jersey I stated working with Chris Le Masurier from Jersey Oyster who owns beds with grade A sea water. I started to eat his oysters and they are now the best ingredient that I use with the purest of flavours.
Which restaurant do you most enjoy eating at on your night off?
As I live on an island 9 miles by 5 you quickly get to experience them all! Lucky for me I have a fantastic wife who is a superb chef and loves cooking at home so I'm spoilt. Or sometimes I’ll just spark up the barbecue. I must confess to being the best at barbequing. So my kids say anyway.
What is your most interesting or fun experience from your time in restaurants?
My most fun and enjoyable time was when I was with Keith Floyd. He really showed me how rewarding being a chef could be. He used to take me in his Bentley down to London and meet chefs such as Marco Pierre White, Simon Hopkinson, Joyce Molyneux just to name a few. As you know, Keith liked a drink so he would end up asleep in the back of the car and I would be in the front with the chauffeur!
What would be your “last request” dish?
My last dish request would have to be my wife's chicken tortilla which I would walk over hot coals to eat. They really are the best.
Is there another chef that you most admire?
I really think what Gordon Ramsay has done for the UK food scene and what he has achieved globally has had a huge impact for youngsters wishing to pursue a career as a chef.
Any advice you would give to someone wanting to become a chef?
Simple rules apply in life not just as a chef but in any career path that you choose. If you put in you get out. It’s as simple as that. The harder you work hopefully the better you will become and the quicker you will get to the top and succeed.