What made you decide to train as a chef?
“My story is quite different. It’s different because I started in Hotel Management and then I came back to get qualified as a chef.”
“Why I chose to be a chef? Well as a kid I cooked with my mum. We cooked for the family together. I was pretty close to mum, and my grandmother - her mother. I guess we had a lot in common then. Whenever we were talking, it would be about food. From an early age it was food and it was the relationship between my mum and my grandmother. And I’ve just grown to appreciate and really love cooking food. Particularly, the art of cooking meat. The flavours and smells. It’s a way of making people happy. Or giving value to people. That’s how I can give value to people. Make them happy by feeding them”.
Loving to feed people doesn’t mean that you’ll go straight to writing cookbooks or creating sauce lines. It is the combination of Phil’s passion and other elements in his life which has led to his success.
Where do you get your creative inspiration?
“I get a lot from books and YouTube. Is YouTube good? It’s more of a passion to what other chefs do. Not only do you learn from them but their passion that goes into it is inspirational. That encourages me to follow what their tips are”.
Do you have a favourite YouTube chef that you watch?
“Gordon Ramsay and Jamie Oliver are my favourites. Gordon Ramsay because he’s straight to the point. He doesn’t waste any words and what he says is really valuable. He knocks it over in a very short period of time. Jamie Oliver is different. He may not knock it over quickly and he’s maybe not that economic … but he’s passionate, making it look so easy. Many times, he just puts a different angle to it or just does things that you wouldn’t think to do. Just simple things, he shows it in such a simple way.”
Knowing that Phil enjoys watching YouTube explains his own YouTube channel, as well as an online presence through his websites.
Do you have a special kitchen set-up or anything that might differ from a home cook?
“...No, not really. Well yes, I am very attached to my knives. I do rely on my knife set. I’m attached to my fry pan. My non-stick. And I do cook on my stove. I’d take my portable gas stove, I’d rather not rely on someone else's stovetop. Just in case- every stove top is different”.