Flash-grilled: Sandy Browning

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Sandy Browning executive chef at south east Asian restaurant Ka Pao in Edinburgh's St James Quarter on his career

Related tags Chef south east Asian cuisine Edinburgh Restaurant

The executive chef at south east Asian restaurant Ka Pao in Edinburgh's St James Quarter on his first industry job, what to pair with pet nat, and his dream dinner party.

What was your first industry job?
I was a commis chef in the restaurant where my older brother was a chef.

If you weren’t in kitchens, what would you do? 
Probably be stuck behind a desk of some sort, I really don’t know what.

What industry figure do you most admire, and why? 
Angela Hartnett. She just seems incredible and such a leader/inspiration for chefs.

What’s your pet hate in the kitchen?
Not working clean and tidily. It stresses me out watching people work in mess.

Sum up your cooking style in a single sentence…
I’d say it’s quite adventurous. I like to try new things out and play around with recipes to see where I can take them.

What advice would you give someone starting out in the industry?
Keep an open mind and always try to learn new things. Don't let people take advantage of you.

Which single item of kitchen equipment could you not live without?
A good set of scales. Sounds so basic but it’s the worst when you’re searching for scales, or they are out of battery. 

What would you choose to eat for your last meal?
A home-cooked meal by my mum, to have with all my family.

À la carte or tasting menu?
À la carte.

What’s the best meal you’ve ever had in a restaurant?
It’s a tough one to choose but Nahm out in Bangkok about four years ago has been one of my favourites. The food was just second to none. 

What’s your favourite fast food joint?
KFC.

MasterChef or Great British Menu?
MasterChef. I love the pressure and the drama of it all. 

What’s the most overrated food?
Avocados. I'm really not a fan of them. 

You’re restaurant dictator for a day – what would you ban?
Negativity. 

Who would your dream dinner party guests be?
Billy Connolly, Dolly Parton and Samuel L. Jackson, with Ed Gamble and James Acaster doing an Off-Menu podcast to go along with the dinner party. Would be some laugh with amazing stories. 

What’s your earliest food memory? 
Eating homemade lentil soup at my granny’s house.

Twitter or Instagram?
Instagram.

Where do you go when you want to let your hair down?
A pub or bar that also does a good classic cocktail.

What’s your tipple of choice?
A Tommy’s margarita.

What’s your favourite food and drink pairing? 
Pet nat wine and fried chicken. Lots of it!

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