If you could cook alongside any other chef, dead or alive, who would it be?
What is the weirdest ingredient you have ever used?
How would you describe your cooking philosophy?
Let the ingredients speak. Don't mask natural flavours, just enhance them.
Who (or what) inspired you to become a chef?
Just the pleasure you put on people's faces when they get a good meal.
Many home cooks assume that professional chefs were in the kitchen at an early age, was this the case with you? Did you always want to be a chef? At what age did you start cooking?
I had a dishwasher job at twelve. I got it because I wanted to be a chef and I started cooking as a cook at fifteen.
What is your earliest food memory?
Mum's roast beef
What was your first job in the industry?
What is your go-to comfort food?
Full English breakfast (bacon (traditionally back bacon), poached or fried eggs, fried or grilled tomatoes, fried mushrooms, fried breador toast with butter, sausages and baked beans, and a mug of tea.)
Do you have favourite ingredient to cook with?
What is your current favourite on your menu at the Irish Heather right now?
Our poached local salmon in tomato vanilla consommé
Are you cooking up any new recipes for the menu for Fall? Can you let us in on some things to look forward to?
Parsley crusted ling cod with creamed Brussel sprouts and roasted fingerling potatoes.
Thyme marinated pork chop with lyonaise potatoes and pork jus
Where do you get ideas and inspiration for your meals?
Seasons, eating at home and at friends, and talking to fellow cooks.
When you are spending time at home, do you cook for yourself or do you order out?
In a world where you can buy everything premade and ready to eat, what do you think home cooks should really take the time to make – sauces, fresh pasta – where should we spend our time?
Beef stock. Reduce it and freeze in ice cube trays, and you can use for gravys, stews, and sauces.
If you had an impromptu dinner party for five tonight, what would you make?
A tomato salad, using the BC heirlooms before they're gone, with smoked chicken with slaw and potato salad; BBQ'd while the whether is still good.
Do you have any favourite cookbooks, cooking shows, or websites?
Larousse gastronomique book.
Tell us one kitchen utensil you cannot live without. What tools would you suggest every home cook should invest in?
For me, just a standard dinner spoon, used for basting etc. For home cooking, an angled pallet knife, a fish slice and a proper chef's knife.
What three ingredients can you not live without?
Salt, Spanish olive oil, and bacon.
If you could travel to any part of the world and eat free for a week, where would it be?
What would you want your last meal to be?
At home with the wife.