“Don’t go into the restaurant business with other people”. These are the words of renowned double Michelin star holder chef Nathan Outlaw as he answers questions alongside two other giants of the UK food industry, Shaun Rankin and Vivek Singh, in an interview for professional chef equipment supplier Russums.

But Nathan realises that for those just beginning in the industry, this is far easier said than done: “It’s very difficult not to do that when you are a young chef just starting out and money is tight.”

This is just one of the interesting titbits offered up by the trio of talented chefs and restaurant owners. They were pinned down on a whole range of questions, from their strangest ingredient to what they would tell up-and-coming chefs.

As unappealing as it might sound, Nathan swears that fish offal, when properly cooked, can taste delicious. If that seems difficult to swallow, maybe washing it down with a mouthful of Shaun’s parsnip coffee might help, though I doubt it. Surprisingly, Vivek’s rice dish with dried ants came out as the most appealing option; though that is a matter of taste, after all.

The three chefs have careers that any newcomer could only dream of. Nathan Outlaw has worked with some high-profile figures in the industry, including Gary Rhodes and Éric Chavo. However, it was his time under renowned seafood chef Rick Stein at his famous Seafood Restaurant in Padstow, Cornwall that would come to strongly influence the direction of his career.

Awarded his first Michelin star in 2006 while working at St Ervan Manor in Cornwall, Nathan now runs the eponymous Restaurant Nathan Outlaw, also in Cornwall, which has the honour of holding two Michelin stars.

Shaun Rankin gained his first Michelin star in 2005 while working as head chef at the Jersey restaurant Bohemia. He is well known for his connection to the Channel Islands, having spent much of his career as a chef in Jersey. Shaun currently runs the Michelin starred restaurant Ormer in Jersey and is involved in London’s 12 Hay Hill members club in Mayfair.

Vivek Singh is highly respected around the world for his modern Indian cooking style. Now running three successful London restaurants — The Cinnamon Club, Cinnamon Kitchen and Cinnamon Soho — Vivek has since written a number of highly successful cook books that showcase the best in contemporary Indian cooking.

So, what do these behemoths of the restaurant world say to any new chefs contemplating a lifelong career? Nathan’s advice is only do it if cooking is something you love because the novelty will wear off, while Shaun advises to get out into the world and experience as many different culinary cultures as possible. And Vivek espouses the virtues of keeping up with the latest trends. How to do this? Well, if you don’t have the time or money to visit some of Britain’s great restaurants, do the next best thing and update your cookbook library as often as possible.

John Paul Marsden, Head of Marketing at Russums, said: “These fantastic chefs may seem like they are on another level now, but every success story has to start somewhere. I think young chefs, as well as those not in the industry but who love cooking, will find what they have to say both interesting and inspiring.”

If you would like to read the full interview, click on the following link.

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