Flash-grilled: Dominic Chapman

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Dominic Chapman on what drink to pair with Sunday roast and facing challenging customers

Related tags Dominic Chapman Restaurant Dominic Chapman Chef Fine dining Restaurant

The chef behind the recently-launched Restaurant Dominic Chapman in Henley-on-Thames on his favourite place for a dirty burger, challenging customers, and his drink of choice with a Sunday roast.

What was your first industry job?
Minstrels Wine Bar at The Castle in Taunton during the late 80s.

If you weren’t in kitchens, what would you do?
National Hunt jockey.

What industry figure do you most admire, and why?
Richard Guest. He's a grafter who runs a brilliant restaurant, hates all the gossip, and does what he does. A proper chef.

What’s your pet hate in the kitchen?
Sloppy cooking.

What’s the oddest thing a customer has said to you?
“Can I have a fillet steak and chips for my dog served in a dog bowl?”

Sum up your cooking style in a single sentence...
Simple, clean, and ingredient led.

What’s the worst review you’ve ever had?
Two guests once told me their beautifully pink roast rib of Hereford beef for Sunday lunch 'wasn’t cooked properly'. All the other 25 guests were very happy!

What advice would you give someone starting out in the industry?
Work for someone good that you like and be a sponge.

Which single item of kitchen equipment could you not live without?
Pasta machine.

What would you choose to eat for your last meal?
A big, grilled wild sea bream with rice, loads of lemon and steamed Greek greens. Hopefully by the sea in Greece.

À la carte or tasting menu?
À ​la carte every day.

What’s the best meal you’ve ever had in a restaurant?
Lunch at the Waterside Inn with Simon Bonwick. What a lunch...

What’s your favourite fast food joint?
Five Guys. Love a dirty burger every now and then. Or a No Name Gyros pita in Skiathos, Greece.

What’s the dish you wish you’d thought of?
Big Mac.

MasterChef or Great British Menu?

What’s the most overrated food?
Fish and chips from a fish and chip shop

You’re restaurant dictator for a day – what would you ban?
Phones. The world is addicted.

Who would your dream dinner party guests be?
Heston Blumenthal, Paul James, Ian Wright, AP McCoy, Piers Morgan, Ronnie O’Sullivan, Frank Bruno, Noel or Liam Gallagher and Johnny Godden.

What’s your earliest food memory?
Entrecote, frites and salade verte in the South of France, 1985. Simple, beautifully clean, and delicious in every way.

Twitter or Instagram?

What’s the closest you’ve ever come to death?
Drinking some dodgy milk in India.

Where do you go when you want to let your hair down?
Usually I go for a run or to the gym, and I have a negroni every now and then!

What’s your tipple of choice?
Tea or coffee.

What’s your favourite food and drink pairing?
Sunday lunch and a coffee.

What do you consider to be your signature dish?
Rabbit lasagne.

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