Revelations: Richard De La Cruz, group head chef, Arros QD, Fitzrovia, London
What was your best subject at school?
Chemistry. I was fascinated by the composition of the things we eat
What was your first job?
Commis chef, doing breakfast in a five-star hotel
What do you do to relax?
Spend time with my family, close the curtains and watch movies in the living room with a massive bowl of salty popcorn
Which is your favourite restaurant?
The three-Michelin-starred Quique Dacosta in Dénia, Alicante. It's always a pleasure to go back home
What is your favourite drink?
Aperol spritz, but one from Premana, Italy – my wife's hometown
What is your favourite food/cuisine?
Mediterranean, South American and Chinese food
Which ingredient do you hate the most?
Synthetic truffle oil
Which person gave you the greatest inspiration?
Believe it or not, a baby can sometimes give you the best lessons in the world – one of them is how to start every day with a big smile and the best attitude
What daily newspaper/website do you read?
The Evening Standard on the tube going to work
Cast away on a desert island, what luxury would you take?
An orthopaedic mattress – nothing better than sleeping well
If not yourself, who would you rather have been?
If you had not gone into catering, where do you think you would be now?
Maybe a plastic surgeon, most probably I'd be somewhere in Africa, doing humanitarian work
Tell us a secret...
Chickpeas do magic!
What irritates you most about the industry?
When people take advantage of others – this is something very common in this industry
What's your favourite film?
Peter Pan, it always brings back good memories
What is your favourite prepared product?
If you had more time, what would you do?
Every single extra minute would be spent with my family
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