Revelations: Natasha Cooke, chef and co-owner, Lupins, London Bridge

31 January 2020
Revelations: Natasha Cooke, chef and co-owner, Lupins, London Bridge

What was your best subject at school?

Maths. I think there's a perception that all chefs must be creative, but I'm really not

What was your first job?

I worked in a pasty shop in Cornwall when I was 13 for a few hours a week

What was your first job in catering?

Part-time in a pub kitchen. I could cook a steak perfectly by the time I was 15

What do you do to relax?

Play squash or meditate

Which is your favourite restaurant?

For fine dining it has to be Midsummer House in Cambridge

What's your favourite hotel?

Watergate Bay in Newquay

What is your favourite drink?

Red wine – a Fleurie or Bordeaux

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

Anything that's cheap, because you know it will be bad quality

What is your favourite food?

Fresh fish. I grew up in Cornwall and we would pick mussels on the beach and throw them on the barbecue with some fresh squid

Which ingredient do you hate the most?

I'm not keen on citrus fruit. I'll always pass a prep job over to someone else if I can get away with it

Which person in catering have you most admired?

Jamie Oliver

Which person gave you the greatest inspiration?

The event rider Mary King. Before I became a chef I was a professional event rider and I had the hugest admiration for everything Mary achieved. She was, and still is, a huge inspiration

What irritates you most about the industry?

Public perception that eating out should be cheaper than it is. People want to enjoy a first-class dining experience, but then they're not prepared to pay for it, which I can never understand

What's your favourite book?

A Book Of Five Rings by Miyamoto Musashi

When did you last eat a hamburger?

About 25 years ago. I don't like minced meat

What is your favourite prepared product?


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