Paul Foster, Grilled!

Paul Foster, 30, is head chef at the stunning Tuddenham Mill in Suffolk, boasting 3 AA rosettes. Last year he became the Observer Food Monthly’s Young Chef of the Year 2011. A CV boasting stints at Raymond Blanc’s Le Manoir, Thomas Keller’s French Laundry and Sat Bains, and an appearance on BBC TWO’s Great British Menu. He’s a keen forager and innovative chef, passionate about natural, British ingredients.

If money was no object, what kind of restaurant would you open and where?
I would open a small restaurant run by my wife and I, with a small dedicated team underneath us. My food philosophies wouldn’t change, it would still be very natural food. It would be in an old building with lots of character and charm in a rural location.

If you had to eat the same meal every day for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Probably curry, a really good Dhansak like the one Cyrus Todiwala makes at Café Spice Namaste.

What do you keep on your bedside table?
My iPad and there is always a glass of squash there that I normally forget to take downstairs to the kitchen, much to my wife’s annoyance.

When is the last time you had a McDonald’s?
About a week ago, I was quite drunk with a few other chefs I know and we ate it at one of their restaurants. I’m not naming any names though.

What is your career Plan B?
I don’t have one and never have, fortunately I have always wanted to be a chef and stuck with it.

Is there anything on the menu at Tuddenham Mill that you ever cook at home?
The food I cook at home is much more simple, I don’t have the equipment or a team of guys at home unfortunately.

Is there any food that you can’t stand?
I hate cheese and baked beans, and always have. I couldn’t think of two worse foods to put on a jacket potato.

Do you have any recurring dreams?
Since I was a commis chef at Le Manoir I have always had dreams that I was in the shit and nowhere near ready for service, but I always wake up just before service starts.

Who would be your ideal dinner date?
It would be Marco Pierre White, still a legend. Would love to hear his stories from the Harvey days.

What is the one object you can’t do without?
At the moment it’s my iPad, it runs my whole life, work and personal. What did we do before them?
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