Because I love what I do and think I’m part of the best industry in the world. Our job is to make sure other people have a good time. What could be better?
Tell us something you wish you had been told at the start of your career?
Shut up and listen, oh hold on I was told that a lot, and I didn’t.
What do you do in your spare time?
Because I now don’t have to do it every day, I like to cook.
What’s your favourite restaurant or group of restaurants (besides your current one)?
I like to sit at the Oyster Bar in Bentley’s and eat from the blackboard menu. Some of the best cooking around.
What would you be doing if you weren’t in restaurants?
I’d either be an actor or in prison.
What motivates you?
Creating environments in which both customers and staff have a good time.
Where was your last holiday?
Holiday? What’s a holiday?
Which colleague, mentor or employer has had the biggest influence on your approach to the restaurant business?
My mum taught me to love food, Gennaro Contaldo taught me to love kitchens and experience taught what little else I know.
What keeps you up at night?
What I don’t know.
Worst business decision?
Trying to manage a band in the early 2000s. You’ve never heard of them.
Best business decision?
Starting a partnership with my brother Alan in 2003, we work brilliantly together and hopefully always will.
What are you reading at the moment?
Deep Water by Patricia Highsmith. She wrote The Talented Mr. Ripley and, so far, this is just as good.
What piece of advice would you give to those looking to climb the rungs in the business?
It’s only a mistake if you make it twice.
If you could change one thing about the restaurant industry today, what would it be?
I think a stint in hospitality should be compulsory for all school leavers. Work hard, work as a team and learn some humility. The Kardashians are not an aspiration, they are a symptom.
1970 Born in London
Started food in 1975, left in 1986 with no qualifications
1988 Started as commis chef at The Neal Street Restaurant
2002 Finished cooking career as executive chef of The Groucho Club
2003 Started a partnership with brother Alan, creating various businesses “some successful, some not”
2013 Opened Homeslice in Neal’s Yard, with brother Alan and fellow founder Ry Jessup
2019 Opened sixth Homeslice in James Street, Marylebone