Flash-grilled: Alex Povall

What was your first job?
My first job in the kitchen was at a country house hotel called Moonfleet Manor, on the south coast in Dorset, where I grew up – I applied to do some work experience and was offered a commis chef position.

What is your guiltiest food pleasure?  
That award definitely goes to Tex Mex Super Noodles! 

What’s the best restaurant meal you’ve ever had?
That’s impossible to answer – I tend to try and eat out 2/3 times per week so there have been many great experiences. I think the best experience as a whole would have to be last year. We visited a family-run trattoria in a small town called Angihari in Tuscany. It was the perfect experience in every way – surrounded by family and friends. Food cooked from the heart with no pretences. Wine from local vineyards and the most endearing hospitality.

What industry figure do you most admire, and why? 
I guess I have a massive amount of admiration for so many industry leaders. I know how hard it has been to get to where I am, let alone how hard it must be to do what they do. A big one for me I think is Massimo Bottora for the work he is doing surrounding food waste. 

If you weren’t in kitchens, what would you do? 
It’s hard to imagine myself anywhere outside of kitchens now to be honest! I’ve always enjoyed wine (and drinking!) and also people so I would say the obvious choice would be to run a little bar somewhere.

What is your biggest regret?
My biggest regret has to be not taking more time out to travel. I think so much can be learnt about food by immersing yourself in other cultures and seeing how real people cook real food. London is such a fantastic melting pot of different cultures but I remember watching Rick Stein cooking fish on a beach and Goa and I just don’t think you could ask for a better experiences than that.

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