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Let’s see what he’s got to tell us…
When and from whom did you learn about cooking? Do you have any early memories of something you enjoyed cooking?
I only really learnt to cook once I started my first proper full time job but Id always pottered around the kitchen having a crack at things id seen which I thought would be tasty…mainly baking with my mum!
Where did it all begin? What was your first job in a professional kitchen and how do you think this helped get you where you are today?
I started in a modern apprenticeship with Heathcotes school of excellence where the full time job part of it was at the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester. I learnt all the basic skills and techniques there from a very classic but brilliant chef called Robert Kisby, I still base my food on those skills today!
What is one of your favourite ingredients to use in your dishes and why?
I love dried fruit, namely dates but also prunes, Ill use them to sweeten and balance a lot of gamey or savoury dishes
What is your favourite dish to cook? Do you have a favourite that you like to eat yourself?
A simple roast dinner will always be my favourite dish to cook and eat, not exactly fine dining but a good roast is a true skill I think!
What regional dish stands out to you and should represent your country? What do you think makes dishes in your region unique from others?
For me it has to be the Tater’ash. I actually do a version of it at The French which surprises people as traditionally its such a simple/humble dish that everyone in the north west will have had at home at some point. Its so representative of what we are up here, simple humble but super tasty!
Have you ever cooked for any celebrities or famous faces?
I’ve done the banquet on great British Menu twice and the room was packed with VIPs and celebs both times but as any chef will tell you we treat every guest as well as each other!
Do you have any funny or embarrassing kitchen stories to tell?
I did a competition in my mid 20’s when I was a sous chef in a starred kitchen, I absolutely nailed it and thought I may have a chance of being the overall winner until the judge came to me and said ‘taste that carrot’…that’s when I realised ive taken a spoonful of salt instead of sugar for the Vichy carrots!!!!
Is there a celebrity chef who inspires you or has inspired you from the beginning of your career? Why does this person inspire you so much?
Not one in particular but I always say that watching ready steady cook the first time round after coming home from school every day always caught my imagination and was probably one of the main reasons I wanted to become a chef
Do you have any final advice for someone just starting to cook?
Stick at it, be patient and learn to love and respect your ingredients and what you do with them. Cooking is about loving what you’re doing and being so focused on flavour. Success will come from perfecting your craft!