Flash-grilled: Davide Parato

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Credit: Justin De Souza
Credit: Justin De Souza

Related tags Crust Bros London Pizza Chef

The executive chef at London-based pizza restaurant group Crust Bros on working in a bakery as a teenager, customers demanding pineapple on pizza, and learning English from Gino D'Acampo.

What was your first industry job? 
My first industry job was in a bakery in Italy when I was 15. The head baker taught me how to cook and make bread to perfection and every day I cleaned the proof room where we'd put bread and pizza to rise faster. It was a really tough job!

If you weren’t in kitchens, what would you do? 
I don't think I could do anything differently. Being a chef is a passion I was born with! But if I had to pick another job, I would definitely be a farmer.

What industry figure do you most admire, and why? 
Gino D'Acampo! I just think Gino is so funny and I always watched his videos when I first came to the UK to learn English.

What’s your pet hate in the kitchen? 
Chefs leaving spoons inside containers and closing the lid. Very annoying!

Sum up your cooking style in a single sentence… 
We like speed, a clean environment and amazing pizzas all the time.

What’s the worst review you’ve ever had? 
Our worst reviews have definitely been the customers complaining because we have no pineapple on our pizza...

What advice would you give someone starting out in the industry? 
Always believe in your skills and don't ever give up. We will all have bad days, but we can come out from it and become stronger!

Which single item of kitchen equipment could you not live without?
I couldn't live without my personal spatula for making pizzas. I have been using the same one since I started.

What would you choose to eat for your last meal? 
My last meal would definitely be a pizza... A buffalo mozzarella pizza with ham, please.

À la carte or tasting menu? 
Always tasting menu for me.

What’s the best meal you’ve ever had in a restaurant? 
It's difficult for me to say what the best meal has been because it depends on the period of the year!

What’s your favourite fast food joint? 
Five Guys - I love those burgers.

What’s the dish you wish you’d thought of? 
Pizza margherita. 

MasterChef ​or Great British Menu? 

What’s the most overrated food? 
White truffle... I come from Alba, my people would hate me!

What’s your earliest food memory? 
Gnocchi with fontina fondue made by my grandma. If I close my eyes I can still see my grandma rolling each gnocchi by hand.

Twitter or Instagram? 

Where do you go when you want to let your hair down? 
Travelling, ideally somewhere hot.

What’s your tipple of choice? 
Whiskey without ice.

What’s your favourite food and drink pairing? 
During summer we do this amazing pizza with 'nduja and yellow datterini tomatoes, which pairs really well with a glass of Amalfi gin and tonic.

What do you consider to be your signature dish?
Pizza with a red base, ventresca tuna, Tropea red onion and bagna verde.

Gino Acampo

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