CURRENT KITCHEN & ROLE
Head Chef of Tozi restaurant in Victoria
PAST KITCHENS & ROLES
I was previously the Head Chef at Shoreditch House where I opened it ran the kitchen for 5 years. Prior to this I was Head Chef at the Neal Street Restaurant in Covent Garden, working alongside the amazing Antonio Carluccio
DESERT ISLAND DISH & DISC
I would be eating some great sashimi whilst listening to Bob Marley‘s Everything’s Gonna Be Alright
What inspired you to become a chef?
From the age of 8 I was constantly telling my mum that I wanted to be a chef. I remember sitting around the kitchen table and watching her cook dishes from fresh pasta to roast meats and cakes. I was so intrigued by all the different ingredients that could be combined to make something special with my own hands. I am very lucky that my dream became my life.
What was your very first job?
After finishing catering school, I started working in a small restaurant run by a very young chef from Treviso (in the Veneto region). We used to go shopping for fresh fish, meat and vegetables every morning at 6.30am and then go back to the restaurant for the mise en place for service. There was no menu, the waiters would tell all of the customers about the different dishes that we were preparing each day - it was fantastic.
Which ingredients do you have a love/hate relationship?
The ingredient I love the most is Extra Virgin Olive Oil - I include it in every single dish I make! And the one that I don’t like at all as to be cumin – I just cannot eat it and I do not like the smell at all.
Which Chef inspires you the most?
I have great respect for Chefs that run the whole operation and not just the kitchen side, so all of the Chef –Patrons.
What would be your last supper and who would cook it?
My last supper would be something very simple made by the two people I love most, my wife and my son.
Favourite junk food/ guilty pleasure?
My favourite junk food has got to be Burger and chips! And my guilty pleasure is chocolate - I can eat tonnes of it without realizing! Apart when I weight myself at the end of the week that is!
What would you like to change about the restaurant industry?
In this industry we are all driven by numbers which makes us at risk of forgetting why we do this job in the first place, which is the love of making something special, or the pride of seeing a young chef coming through your kitchen and giving your customers a delicious and memorable meal. It would be great to have a bit less pressure so we can all enjoy the journey more.
Who would be in your fantasy dinner party?
My fantasy dinner party would be in Hollywood surrounded by a host of famous film stars! I love movies and I have always been fascinated by their lives. In real life it would be great to have all of my family and friends together for a day, sitting outside around a massive table in summer to enjoy the food and the love.
What does the future hold for yourself and your restaurant?
Tozi is doing amazingly well and I am so proud to be part of its success! At present we are just focusing on creating more dishes that our customers will love as well as launching our range of new vermouth cocktails which are made using our own secret House Vermouth recipe.