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  • Mise en Place

    Specialist recruiter to the Catering and Hospitality Industry. Our values: Professionalism, Integrity, Flexibility, Partnership

    chef
  • Mise en Place

    Specialist recruiter to the Catering and Hospitality Industry. Our values: Professionalism, Integrity, Flexibility, Partnership

    lady chef
  • Mise en Place

    Specialist recruiter to the Catering and Hospitality Industry. Our values: Professionalism, Integrity, Flexibility, Partnership

    chef, waiter
  • Mise en Place

    Specialist recruiter to the Catering and Hospitality Industry. Our values: Professionalism, Integrity, Flexibility, Partnership

    bar man

David Boycott

This week we speak with David Boycott. David left Oxford University last year after having fallen in love with cooking during my time there. He is currently working at the Opera Tavern restaurant in London. Next month he will be running a pop-up at The Endurance on Berwick St in Soho as part of Free Company (@freecompanyfc) , a team of chefs he set up with two others earlier this year. He is also project managing a new initiative called ‘A Work In Progress‘ (@saltyardawip) which is a monthly platform for culinary boundary pushing and a platform for young chefs to showcase their talent. HE also runs his own blog www.birdfoodblogging.wordpress.com, you can find him on twitter @birdfoodblog.

Which is the last restaurant you visited and what were your thoughts?
The Kitchin up in Edinburgh whilst I was the the Fringe there. I was massively impressed, great technique and impeccable sourcing. It’s not often I struggle to pick what I want to eat but I spent a long time deciding up there.

What do you enjoy more, cooking or writing?
Cooking is my living, writing is more a derivative of that. It is nice when I can set aside time to write and organise the thoughts I have been having but it is the cooking that really keeps me going.
Which is your favourite local restaurant?

The Corner Room is just up the road from me and delivers incredible food for absurdly cheap prices. It is my go-to recommendation for anyone in London.

What is the most difficult part of your job?
A tricky one, I love what I do. For me it is probably the gap between where I am and where I want to be. I look at everything I do and almost immediately feel it should be about 100 times better. Sometimes I struggle to keep it in perspective, but I know this will only keep pushing me to get better and better.

What annoys you in the hospitality industry at the moment?
Places which think having a great atmosphere can make up for lazy food.

What personal attributes do you think make a good chef?
Dedication, attention to detail, a willingness to learn.

If you had to give one piece of advice to an up and coming chef, what would it be?
I’m not even close to being able to give anyone advice.

Has blogging changed your perception on food/restaurants in any way?
It provokes me to think in a bit more detail why I am doing something, what is the motivation, what am I trying to achieve. This is mirrored when I go somewhere else and write about it, what processes are they going through and why.

Which Chef (Chefs) do you most admire?
I’ve learnt a great deal from my executive chef Ben Tish and my head chef Jamie Thickett at Opera Tavern. They have given me a great start to my career and are always keen to push me harder. Guys like Ben Spalding and Nuno Mendes in London are a great inspiration. They never stop pushing and trying to pursue their vision, their dedication to their craft is amazing.

People always ask chefs what their last meal on earth would be… Instead, if you had to cook one last meal for your customers (the last dish ever!) what would it be and why? I’d bake them bread and serve it with something homely and comforting, a roast shoulder of lamb maybe.

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