JOHN POLLARD - Group Executive Chef For Robert Newmark Restaurants

TTF Interviews - JOHN POLLARD - Group Executive Chef For Robert Newmark Restaurants

13-November-2015

John Pollard

 

CURRENT KITCHEN & ROLE

Group Executive Chef for Robert Newmark, kitchens include West Thirty Six, Boneyard and Beach Blanket Babylon in both Notting Hill and Shoreditch.

 

PAST KITCHENS & ROLES

I’ve worked across Soho House Group, opening and rolling out Pizza East, Dirty Burger and Chicken Shop.  Also with Soho, I spent 12 months at Soho House Berlin, an unforgettable experience working in an up and coming foodie city leading a massive brigade.   

Before entering Soho House I was a Head Chef for Caprice Holdings, managing kitchens at J Sheekey’s, Scott’s and the Rivington Grill.

 

DESERT ISLAND DISH & DISC

Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds for those beans on toast nights.

 

WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO BECOME A CHEF? 

An interest in food for an early age along with the camaraderie of the kitchen got me on the path to becoming a chef.  Being part of and leading teams is a big driver for me plus bringing new dishes, ingredients and concepts to fruition is a fantastic creative process with an edible result! You can’t beat it.

 

Left: Rotisserie Chicken at West Thirty Six | Right: Best RIbs in London at Boneyard

 

 

WHAT WAS YOUR VERY FIRST JOB? TELL US ABOUT IT.

My first job, and taste of the kitchen way of life was in a Fish & Chip shop in North West England.  It wasn’t glamorous: it was cold.  It was peeling 3000kg potatoes a day in a concrete yard out the back of the shop.  It taught me that good, fast prep skills were essential to any wannabe chef.

 

WHICH INGREDIENTS DO YOU HAVE A LOVE/HATE RELATIONSHIP?

Kimchi! It used to be weird, special and amazing! Now it’s in every east London burger!

 

WHICH CHEF INSPIRES YOU THE MOST?

Swedish Chef from the Muppets was my first role model – meatballs are still a firm faverioute for me!

 

WHAT WOULD BE YOUR LAST SUPPER AND WHO WOULD COOK IT?

A roast beef Sunday lunch with all of the trimmings (Yorkshire puddings and cauliflower cheese are a must) cooked by my darling girlfriend.  You can’t beat a bit of home comfort on a Sunday, it’s our ritual.

 

Left: Steak Tasting Board at West Thirty Six | Right: Cheese Burger at Boneyard

 

 

FAVOURITE JUNK FOOD/ GUILTY PLEASURE?

Cornish pasties. I have to fight the urge to buy one on my way past any pasty shop!

 

WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO CHANGE ABOUT THE RESTAURANT INDUSTRY?

I want to eradicate exploitation in the kitchen.  There is no need to exploit people and if you have to do it to stay in business, you shouldn’t be in business. The why? It’s obvious.

 

WHO WOULD BE IN YOUR FANTASY DINNER PARTY?

Data from Star Trek and the Dude from Big Lebowski would be top of my list for a fantasy dinner party.  We could chat about quantum physics and bowling.

 

WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD FOR YOURSELF AND YOUR RESTAURANT?

Searching for the next big ingredient or dish.  Aren’t we all?

 

 

MORE FROM JOHN POLLARD

  

 

Written by Lateef Okunnu


About the Author

Founder / Reviews

Lateef Okunnu's TryThisFor page

twitter - https://twitter.com/lateefokunnu

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email - lateef@trythisfor.com

Founder of TryThisFor.com - An 8 year stint as a food writer not only waged a constant war between Lateef and his waistline but resulted in daily requests for restaurant recommendations. Something had to be done about one of these, and considering a life without food was unthinkable, creating a food-guide was the next logical way to go. Having worked for numerous food-magazines, night-life guides and websites; it was time to create his own. 

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