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Revelations: Mark Donald, head chef of Number One at the Balmoral hotel, Edinburgh

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Revelations: Mark Donald, head chef of Number One at the Balmoral hotel, Edinburgh

What was your best subject at school?
Drama was my favourite. French, history and chemistry were my strongest

What was your first job?
I sold flowers at a Dutch flower market in the UK

What was your first job in catering?
I washed dishes at a pub called the Tickled Trout

What do you normally have for breakfast?
Black coffee

Which is your favourite restaurant?
Yardbird in Hong Kong

What’s your favourite hotel?
Fawlty Towers

What is your favourite food?
I love a bit of dim sum

What is your favourite drink?
Tanqueray No 10 gin

Which ingredient do you hate?
Bananas

Which person in catering have you most admired?
Andrew Fairlie

Are there any foods that you refuse to cook with?
I hate truffle oil

How would you describe your desk?
Two foot tall, wood, slight wobble

If not yourself, who would you rather have been?
Someone in intelligence, like an MI6 agent

If you had not gone into catering, where do you think you would be now?
Trying to make it as an actor

What is your favourite prepared product?
Soy sauce and tinned anchovies

Describe your ultimate nightmare?
Being buried alive or an office job

What irritates you most about the industry?
Young chefs who think they are the finished article

When and where was your last holiday?
I went to the Douro Valley in Portugal with our wine supplier to taste port for two days

What’s your favourite film?
Die Hard

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

What’s your favourite book?
Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh

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