When did you realise you wanted to work in hospitality?
When I was 14 years-old I had the choice between high school or cookery school. At the time I chose high school, but when I was 18, I decided to follow the opportunity I passed and signed up to cookery school in Plymouth.
Where and how did you get your start?
At 18, I started studying an International Cookery Course in City College Plymouth, so my formal experience started there. It taught me a great deal about cooking, and in an international atmosphere, which was new to me. I think it was a great base for my professional life.
My first chef position was as commis chef, at Poggio Piglia, Chiusi Chianciano Terme, in Tuscany.
Sum up your current work life in one sentence.
I give opportunities to people just starting in hospitality to develop their careers.
Who has been really influential on your career and why?
My father – he has always been extremely supportive of me and my career choice, he gave me all the opportunities to follow my dreams and realise them. In terms of cuisine, I first started cooking as a teenager, learning recipes from my mother - I wanted to be able to prepare my own fresh home lunches and so she started teaching me basic Italian recipes to do that.
What’s next for you?
Quoting Achilles from Troy: “What is it that every man wants from life? – I want more”. My aim is to always improve the level of the kitchen, to try, learn and evolve our offering, so it is the best it can be at any given moment. I never to stop improving our level and simultaneously develop the skills of the team.
What’s your one piece of advice to someone starting out?
It’s a classic piece of advice - develop for yourself not for others.
Where did you last have a great meal?
It was this May in Paris, at a place called Le Bistrotters. I could see and taste the passion of the chef in the meal, me and my company were totally spoiled and really loved the experience. I’ve already been twice!
Are there any openings you are looking forward to?
Not currently - with Circolo having just opened, it’s all I can think about right now!
Where is the most exciting city for hospitality (aside from London)
From my personal experience it has to be Paris! I think Paris has the best level of competition and super high standards, and in terms of the best place for my two favourite cuisines (Italian and French), no other city compares (except maybe London).
Who would you identify as a rising star?
London is a whole new world to me right now so I can’t say one specific person, but there seem to be a lot of new openings in the city and a lot of young talent!