Neil Rankin, Grilled!

Neil Rankin, Grilled! We Love Food, It's All We Eat

Neil Rankin, 35 recently took over as head chef of John Salt from Ben Spalding. Previously head chef of Pitt Cue, Neil has been hailed as the master of the BBQ and smoking. We urge you to get down to Islington to see for yourself just how amazing his cooking is, the menu he’s devised is incredible. You can also catch him at Meatopia, the must-visit BBQ event at Tobacco Dock on 7 September .Click here to read our review of John Salt.


If money was no object, what kind of restaurant would you open and where? Probably a hut on a beach with a barrel grill, a fishing boat and Silvio Berlusconi’s wine cellar.

If you had to eat the same meal every day for the rest of your life, what would it be Dexter rib from Warrens butchers and some chips.

What do you keep on your bedside table? I just checked, my cat Marco is sitting on it as we speak, so I guess my cat.

When is the last time you had a McDonald’s? I quite often forget to eat all day so probably not that long ago. Filet-O-Fish or just a cheeseburger. Never touched the breakfasts or the specials, all shit.

What is your career Plan B? This is plan C, I’m an acoustic scientist.

Is there anything on the menu at John Salt that you ever cook at home? I never cook at home anymore. I’m imaging after my garden gets done next week and I get my Big Green Egg going that might change.

Is there any food that you can’t stand?  Most stuff is ok if you cook it well enough. I hate things like boiled chicken feet , boiled pork or badly cooked offal but the only thing I’ve decided there is no right way to cook is sprouts. I wrote a 20-step recipe for them which included cooking them in rendered lardo, smoking with Isla whisky barrels and serving on a bed of white truffle shavings, but the last step was throwing everything in the bin and making a bacon sandwich instead. That was the best recipe I’ve found.

Do you have any recurring dreams? I have the exam dream quite a bit but with six hours sleep on average I don’t dream that often.

Who would be your ideal dinner date? My wife, my friends Linz, Gizzi Erskine, Dan Doherty, Russell and Kate. Generally people I like spending time with. I don’t have enough time off to make new friends and I’m too grumpy and tired for small talk. I also like dining alone, is that weird ?

What is the one object you can’t do without? The Internet. I’ve quite a lot of habits. I quit smoking a year ago going cold turkey after 15 years on the puff but give me a day without web access and I’m a wreck. It’s a horrible addiction. See I’m even doing it as we speak and so is whoever is reading this…argh goodbye.

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Thanks to @Tweat_Up for the photo