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Revelations: Nick Bennett, head chef, Magnolia Restaurant at Sudbury House hotel, Faringdon, Oxfordshire

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Revelations: Nick Bennett, head chef, Magnolia Restaurant at Sudbury House hotel, Faringdon, Oxfordshire

What was your best subject at school?

Food tech, obviously!

What was your first job?

I assisted my dad’s friend, who was a photographer

What was your first job in catering?

Pot-wash at my local pub. I ended up being in charge on a Monday night!

What do you normally have for breakfast?

Coffee and a banana

What do you do to relax?

I love a day at home with my son Maeson and wife Jess. Maybe a trip to soft play as well

Which is your favourite restaurant?

Restaurant Gordon Ramsay – yet to be beaten

What’s your favourite hotel?

My wife and I love Soho Farmhouse in Great Tew, Chipping Norton

Are there any foods/ingredients that you refuse to cook with?

No, I’m open-minded and will try anything. The only thing I wince at slightly is tongue. I always feel a bit tingly when slicing it…

What is your favourite cuisine?

Relaxed, French-style brasseries. It’s hard to beat mussels, fries and beer on a day off

Which person in catering have you most admired?

Simon Haigh, my old mentor from Mallory Court in Leamington Spa. He’s a humble culinary hero

Which person gave you the greatest inspiration?

Working alongside Simon Haigh and Andrew Scott through my career gave me a lot to aim for

Cast away on a desert island, what luxury would you take?

Modernist Cuisine, so I could finally read it all

If not yourself, who would you rather have been?

Steve Bull [former Wolves footballer]

If you had not gone into catering, where do you think you would be now?

I’d love to have had a chance at playing rugby seriously

Describe your ultimate nightmare?

Being locked in a dark room in the woods with Huntsman spiders

Who would play “you” in a film about your life?

Matt Lucas

When and where was your last holiday?

Our honeymoon to Florida last May

Tell us a secret…

I can do the ‘Waka Waka’

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