Flash-grilled: Paddy Maher

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Pearly Queen head chef Paddy Maher on his career and cooking style

Related tags Pearly Queen London Restaurant Seafood Chef

The head chef at Tom Brown's Pearly Queen in London's Shoreditch on what he thinks of avocados, his first industry job, and what drink pairs best with a spicy pizza.

What was your first industry job?
Kitchen porter in local restaurant.

If you weren’t in kitchens, what would you do?
Definitely something to do with sports or high intensity.

What industry figure do you most admire, and why?
Gordon Ramsay. He’s just a legend.

What’s your pet hate in the kitchen?
People with bad attitudes.

Sum up your cooking style in a single sentence…
Nice defined flavours done well and not over complicated.

What’s the worst review you’ve ever had?
An old lady told me before that a burnt onion broth I had on one of my dishes tasted like 'dishwasher piss'.

What advice would you give someone starting out in the industry?
Be willing to put in the hours and hard work. It’s the type of industry that you get out of it what you put in.

Which single item of kitchen equipment could you not live without?
A Thermomix.

What would you choose to eat for your last meal?
A big hungover Chinese with all my mates.

À la carte or tasting menu?
À la carte .

What’s the best meal you’ve ever had in a restaurant?
Probably Chapter One in Dublin.

What’s your favourite fast food joint?
I love McDonald’s.

MasterChef or Great British Menu?

What’s the most overrated food?
Avocados, they are shite.

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

Who would your dream dinner party guests be?
Eating sweets and drinking ginger ale in my granny’s house.

Twitter or Instagram?

What’s the closest you’ve ever come to death?
Thankfully haven’t come close to death. Maybe a really bad hangover.

Where do you go when you want to let your hair down?
Discount Suit Company near Spitalfields is great.

What’s your tipple of choice?
Guinness or a rum and ginger.

What’s your favourite food and drink pairing?
A can of Coke and spicy pizza.

What do you consider to be your signature dish?
Probably our cuttlefish lasagne or buffalo oyster at Pearly Queen.

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