Q: As it’s National Eat What You Want Day, if you could eat anything right now what would it be?
As it’s the morning a selection fresh fruit, yogurt, a pastry, pink grapefruit juice and a double espresso.
Q: Is there any food you don’t like?
Seafood! It is something I wish I enjoyed but there is very little seafood I enjoy, if it is battered cod and chips then count me in - apart from that it’s a big no!
Q: When did you know you wanted to be a chef?
I sort of fell in to it, one of my mates got a job in a pub when we were at school so I ended up working there too. I really enjoyed it; I took a gap year and worked there full time then when I went to university I kept my weekend shifts on. After university I applied for some IT jobs but didn’t get anywhere so decided to go to catering college to get my chefs qualification. Once I had qualified I decided it was time to leave the pub (after 6 years) and find a different job, so I handed my notice in and didn’t have anything lined up. A job at Demelza came along I applied and got it, I thought this would be a good stop gap job until I know what I really want to do… well, that was 13 years ago!
Talking to my mum she has always said that when I was young I told my grandma that I was going to be a chef one day. However, I was also going to be an astronaut as I had the Usborne Encyclopaedia of Space and knew everything about it.
Q: What do you love most about your job?
It is definitely the interaction we have between children, families, staff, volunteers and visitors. From a kitchen point of view, it’s fantastic having an open kitchen so we get to see and hear what’s going on; the best sound ever is hearing the ships bell ring in the playground.
Q: Who’s your favourite celebrity chef and what would you cook for them?
I am not a huge follower of celebrity chefs however it would be interesting to sit and have a drink and a chat with Heston Blumenthal about all the great ideas him and his team come up with. So probably a pint of ale and a really good cheese toastie.
Q: What’s your favourite dish to cook and why?
I have never really enjoyed baking however over the last year it is something I have really enjoyed making soft pretzels, different types of breads and pizza. I purchased a pizza oven last summer and it has been nonstop pizzas ever since!
Q: If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life what would it be?
My mum’s vegetable lasagne, it has always been one of my favourites.
Q: Do you have any funny kitchen stories or industry secrets?
If you are cooking something new always look at a handful of recipes to give you an idea of the cooking techniques used and the different ingredients. It will give you a better understanding of the final product and will make it easier for you to tweak the recipe to your taste.
If Chef Pie has inspired you to try something new on National Eat What You Want Day, why not check out his mouth watering recipe’s for fluffy Japanese pancakes, the vegan ‘Big Green Bowl’ or a classic quiche?