Dan Doherty, Executive at Duck & Waffle
Having come to the conclusion that nothing could be better than 24/7 brunch, Ella Paskett catches up with Dan Doherty, the executive chef behind Duck and Waffle.
What inspired you to become a Chef - did you have/ when was your 'Eureka' moment?
My brother was a chef, and I used to envy his lifestyle. I got a job washing up in a local restaurant, working weekends, back home in Shrewsbury. As so often happens, a chef calls in sick and before I know it, I’m in love with this world!
What was your very first job?
As described above, unless my paper round counts!
What three words best describe your cooking style?
Honest, Playful, Nourishing.
If you could only cook with 3 ingredients for the rest of your life which would they be and why?
Salt (can’t do with out this)! Potatoes – no need to explain this. Chocolate – purely because I’m addicted.
Which Chef inspires you the most?
It changes a lot to be honest, from the honest food of Shaun Searly to the creative Isaac McHale. Of course the chefs around me at work too, we all push each other and never stop learning.
What would be your last supper and who would cook it?
A Sunday roast followed by steamed treacle pud. Every time. By my mum.
If you had not been a chef, what would you have done?
I want to say footballer but I wasn’t quite good enough. Anything involved with sport.
What are your top three restaurants and why?
This is too hard so I’ll give 3 very different restaurants as it’s impossible to pick 3. Wolseley, Honey & co and Goodmans.
Tell us a secret ;) ?
What’s your favourite kitchen utensil?
I love my microplane! Especially for mega-fine parmesan on pasta, or truffle for that matter too.
Who would you love to cook for?
Thomas Keller, Otis Reading, Marvin Gaye, Eminem.
Favourite junk food/ guilty pleasure?
Dairylea Dunkers! Or a good old Maccys on a hangover.
What irritates you most about the industry (if anything)?
Constant attention on new openings. It’s such a sheep mentality. Too many people want to tick boxes to say they’ve been to a certain place… that’s not what its all about. Wait a while, it’ll only get better!
If you had more time, what you would do?
I’d see my family and friends more. That’s the hardest sacrifice for a chef, always feeling bad for missing important occasions.
What legacy would you like to leave behind?
Give me a few more years to forge one first ;-)
Who would be in your fantasy kitchen team?
I’m lucky enough to have the one I want. Tom Cenci, Jacek Zywar, Daniel Barbosa, Chris Thompson…
What is next on your to do/ to master list?
That’s the magic question, watch this space….
What was your proudest moment?
Publishing a book probably, although it’s hard to say. I love the small things. Also becoming a member of the academy of culinary arts means a lot to me as it’s what gave me my break. Now I get to repay the faith!
What dish would win over your heart?
A good pasta with ragu, with a nice bottle of wine…
Anything else you'd like to tell the world?
Thanks as always to those that support me, I’m the luckiest chef alive!
MORE ON DUCK AND WAFFLE
Check out our Duck and Waffle Venue Page here