What was your best subject at school?
I loved art. We had a wacky teacher who made it a lot of fun
What was your first job in catering?
Commis chef at the Four Seasons Hotel
What do you normally have for breakfast?
We have 10 rare-breed chickens, so poached eggs
What do you do to relax?
We take our dog Floyd for long walks in the Scottish Borders. Many restaurant concepts and menu ideas have come as a result from one of these walks
Which is your favourite restaurant?
I have two: Adam Reid at the French – amazing cooking techniques and skill – and Restaurant Martin Wishart in Edinburgh. Outstanding food that always blows me away
What’s your favourite hotel?
Dukes in Mayfair. It oozes quality and warmth
What is your favourite drink?
Being a Geordie, I want to say Newcastle Brown Ale, but it has to be Monkey 47 gin
What is your favourite food?
We lived in the Channel Islands for seven years and fell in love with the abundance of seafood
Which ingredient do you hate the most?
Are there any foods that you refuse to cook with?
If it is not sustainable, it’s not coming in
What do you always carry with you?
My Craft Guild of Chefs GP calculator
Which person in catering have you most admired?
Terry Laybourne. He set the scene in Newcastle a long time ago, wining multiple awards, including an MBE for services to the catering industry
Which person gave you the greatest inspiration?
Chris Pearson. He was the head chef on the Royal Yacht Britannia when it was in active service. He was a great leader and encouraged me to seek out new experiences in different countries
What irritates you most about the industry?
Promotion as a form of retention, it does the chef no favours as it de-skills the operation and, when they move onto another kitchen, they are completely exposed
Who would be in your “fantasy” brigade?
Gordon Ramsay on the pass, Nathan Outlaw on fish, Salt Bae on meats and Mary Berry on desserts