When did you realise you wanted to work in hospitality?
I think hospitality has always been a part of me and my upbringing. I’ve always enjoyed being creative and working with people so after leaving school I was lucky enough to find my path to the kitchen.
Where and how did you get your start?
I would say my first real start was washing dishes twice a week at my friends parents cafe in Turnpike Lane. It was hard graft but I instantly enjoyed the camaraderie.
Sum up your current work life in one sentence.
It’s challenging and extremely rewarding making people happy and creating opportunities.
Who has been really influential on your career and why?
My family and my fiancé have all been a huge support from day one. Peter Tiley of Hospitality house has been a great friend and inspiration, Chef Jeremy Brown had a profound effect on the way I work to develop a team that is both skilled and happy, and more recently Ben Chapman and Brian Hannon for creating restaurants that both the guest and the employees want to be and exposing me to quality without compromise.
What’s next for you?
To continue working with my team and our suppliers exploring new ways to give our guests the best experience we can deliver.
What’s your one piece of advice to someone starting out?
Be humble and make sure you are in hospitality for the right reasons. If it’s not to make others happy, then maybe it’s not for you.
Where did you last have a great meal?
We are lucky enough to have Brat as part of our family, and what Tomos Parry and his team do is always special. Trom sourcing, cooking and service, I’m yet to not have a great meal there.
Are there any openings you are looking forward to?
I’m always excited to see a restaurant that is focused on a specific place or region, so I can’t wait for Chris Leach/David Carter to open round the corner, and I'm also looking forward to seeing what John Chantarasak (Anglothai) will be doing next. Also the recently opened Flor; it's really good to have more exciting wine bars to go to in London.
Where is the most exciting city for hospitality (aside from London)?
I was recently lucky enough to spend some time in Thailand, and Bangkok has definitely got some exciting things happening.
What chef Who would you identify as a rising star?
I see all of my team at Kiln as rising stars, there are also two young chefs in particular - Alex Bennet and Izzy Little - who are currently doing a series of pop ups across London. Jeremy around the corner at Ikoyi is doing brilliant things, its always interesting and inspiring to see the things he does with produce that we also use at Kiln.