Flash-grilled: Tim Siadatan

By Restaurant

- Last updated on GMT

Image: Elena Heatherwick
Image: Elena Heatherwick

Related tags Tim Siadatan Padella Trullo Restaurant Pasta

The chef founder of Padella and Trullo on his reverence of Fergus Henderson, being tired of the smash burger trend, and the cruciality of blue roll.

What industry figure do you most admire, and why?
Fergus Henderson because St. John restaurant and the St. John cookbook taught me and so many chefs around the world how to cook and for customers - he created a new way of dining. The effect he’s had on the hospitality industry is staggering, especially in the UK. I’d like to hear who’s had more of an impact over the past 25 years. He started with a cult following and over the years his style has transcended into the mainstream. He has enhanced British culture more than most people will ever know. The days of 'rosbif' are long gone….

What’s your pet hate in the kitchen?
I must admit that I have loads, but chefs who regularly rock up just on time are probably the biggest pet hate for me.

Sum up your cooking style in a single sentence…
Simple Italian and British food.

What’s the worst review you’ve ever had?
I remember a review online saying something tasted like “someone had farted in their mouth”, which I found hilarious, harsh and worrying in equal measure.

What advice would you give someone starting out in the industry?
If you don’t love it, don’t do it.

Which single item of kitchen equipment could you not live without?
Life without blue roll isn’t worth living.

What would you choose to eat for your last meal?
Spaghetti vongole, chilled bottle of vermentino (probably two), feet in the sand and Daisy smiling at me.

À la carte or tasting menu?
A la carte all day long.

What’s the best meal you’ve ever had in a restaurant?
This is a tough one to answer but based on only the food, Etxebarri probably wins – that meal was really memorable.

What’s your favourite fast food joint?
Probably Bleecker Burger because my kids go mad for it and it’s delicious. Patty & Bun is also up there for me.

What’s the dish you wish you’d thought of?
I mean, someone was having a good day when they came up with pizza, didn’t they?

MasterChef or Great British Menu?

What’s the most overrated food?
Smash burgers. Let’s move on already!

You're a restaurant dictator for a day – what would you ban?
I don’t smoke but I’d bring it back for a day. I miss the hum of a dining room with a thick plume of Marlborough and cigar smoke at 3pm on a Friday afternoon.

Who would your dream dinner party guests be?
Eric Cantona because he’s Eric Cantona.

What’s your earliest food memory?
Toast and butter.

Twitter or Instagram?

What’s the closest you’ve ever come to death?
Years ago I was near San Sebastian and stupidly went for a swim on a large empty beach after a long lunch and no one knew I had gone. I didn’t know at the time but I got caught in a rip tide, I couldn’t get back in and I'd been swept far out. I was trying desperately to get attention but it wasn’t working! After 15 minutes of pure panic and exhaustion I vividly remember contemplating the end and if this was really it… Having a wonderful long lunch followed by a sunset swim wasn’t the worst way to go. Thankfully, I didn’t need to dwell on that romantically morbid thought for too long because out of nowhere I saw a paddle boarder on the horizon who saw me and came to my rescue. He heaved me on, paddled me back and when we got to shore he yelled at me and although I don’t speak Basque dialect, I understood perfectly what he said. Lesson learnt.

Where do you go when you want to let your hair down?
Dukes Bar.

What’s your tipple of choice?
A cold frosty beer.

What’s your favourite food and drink pairing?
Nothing quite beats tagliarini with white truffle, butter, parmesan and egg yolk with a smooth, aged barolo.

What do you consider to be your signature dish?
Pappardelle with eight-hour cooked beef shin ragu.

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