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Two minutes with Will Bowlby, Kricket

Published 8 April 2020

For this week’s Careers Q&A we talk to Will Bowlby, Co-founder of much-loved Indian restaurant Kricket. He shares with us the most rewarding parts of his career, how he manages to combat boredom amid lockdown and lets us in on his top tips for the housebound cook.

When did you realise you wanted to work in hospitality and where/how did you get your start?

When I was around 10 years old, Jamie Oliver came on television and immediately interested me. My first job was washing dishes in my local pub. Other than that, I gave myself my first start by launching a one-man catering company when I was 16.

Who has been influential on your career and why?

Chef-wise, it’s those that have taught me – Rowley Leigh and Vivek Singh in particular. Pierre Koffmann and Michel Roux Jr have always shown support for me, and I find their humility in doing so very inspiring. As a restaurateur, I’ve never found myself disagreeing with anything Jeremy King has said…

What’s been the most rewarding part of your career so far?

Pleasing individual diners on a daily basis. I still always get surprised when they tell me how good our restaurants are. That is what it is all about. I’m proud we have stuck it out for nearly five years now, we’ve matured and are still going strong. Seeing progression in individuals within our team is also very rewarding. 

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received?

Lead by example and maintain the right standards amongst your colleagues and staff.

And what’s your advice for someone starting out?

Keep your head down, do whatever is asked of you and more. Show initiative, be passionate and be honest. You need to have these things to succeed in this industry; and note it’s not easy. 

Who would you identify as a rising star?

Alice Norman, an old chef of mine, who is taking on Italian food with history behind it. I like that approach. 

Now we all have more time on our hands, what do you do to combat boredom?

I cook. Try to learn new skills and take my time in preparing food that I wouldn’t usually have the time for. I’m almost always busy and therefore can rush certain things, now I can be more measured.

Give us your top three recommendations of what to watch, read or listen to.

Watch The Office US, especially now that it never seems to end. Read cookery books – Noma’s guide to fermentation is keeping me busy right now. And finally listen to my sister’s playlist https://soundcloud.com/wiz-bowlby. Produced at her home in Ibiza, it makes you feel good.  

What’s your go-to meal when you’re at home?

Chicken in a pot with rice. I have this everytime I’m home.

Any tips for the housebound cook?

Be creative; throw nothing away. You can make something out of anything. A good pulser or nutribullet always comes in handy.

What’s your latest cooking discovery?

My new Big Green Egg. Not new to most but new to me, and I’m loving using it.

Where’s your first meal out of isolation going to be? 

Kricket!

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