Chef Revelations – Paul Foster

by Amanda Afiya, Monday 20th February 2012 10:17

What do you normally have for breakfast?
My kitchen porter Alice brings me tea and toast at 10am every day

What is your favourite restaurant?
The French Laundry, California

What is your favourite hotel?
Coworth Park, Ascot, Berkshire

What is your favourite cuisine?
I love to eat Japanese food - you always feel good afterwards

Which ingredient do you hate the most?
Glacé cherries - no kitchen should ever have them in stock

Are there any foods/ingredients that you refuse to cook with?
Anything over-scientific - for instance, spherification ingredients, which have been overdone and turned into a gimmick. Only a few do it correctly.

What flavour combinations do you detest?
Cheese and baked beans, the two main things I have always disliked, and together they are terrible

Which person in catering have you most admired?
Thomas Keller

Which person gave you the greatest inspiration?
Sat Bains

If not yourself, who would you rather have been?
David Beckham

Describe your ultimate nightmare
Losing my sense of taste

Tell us a secret...
I love fast food, especially when drunk

What irritates you most about the industry?
When culinary trends are not respected but bastardised and turned into gimmicks

What is your favourite film?
The Commitments

What is your favourite book?
The Big Fat Duck Cookbook is a beautiful piece of work

What is your favourite prepared product?
McVitie's Jamaica Ginger Cake

Who would be in your fantasy brigade?
Thomas Keller (French Laundry) on canapés and amuse; Heston Blumenthal (Fat Duck) on larder; Sat Bains (Restaurant Sat Bains) on meat; Claude Bosi (Hibiscus) on fish; Rene Redzepi (Noma) on garnish; John Freeman (Restaurant Sat Bains) and Jocky (James Petrie, Fat Duck) on desserts; Marco Pierre White on the pass; me as a commis, getting shouted at by all of them

Paul Foster, head chef, Tuddenham Mill, near Newmarket


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