Adam Byatt

Posted on 21 December 2019

Adam Byatt is a chef, restaurateur and food writer. Exposed to the world of cooking from an early age with his grandfather, a cook in the Army, and his mother a professional chef, aged 16 Adam decided to give up his multiple jobs when he was introduced to the Savoy Education Trust who offered him a placement as an apprentice chef at Claridges Hotel.

Elliot Moss
Welcome to the Jazz Shapers Podcast from Mishcon de Reya. What you are about to hear was originally broadcast on Jazz FM however the music has been cut or shortened due to rights issues.

Welcome to Jazz Shapers, I am Elliot Moss and today we have a very special Encore Edition of the programme, that means that alongside super tunes from the Shapers of Jazz, Soul and Blues we are welcoming back a past Business Shaper, none other than, ladies and gentleman hear the drum rol1, Adam Byatt; chef, restaurateur and food writer. Adam last joined us back in 2013, six years ago so there is a lot to catch up about. With his grandfather a cook in the Army and his mother a professional chef, Adam was exposed to cooking and the love of food from a young age – “I was drawn to the kitchen” he says, “by the environment, fluidity and pace. I felt alive there. Thirty years’ on, I still do.” – and he looks very well on it too. But it was Adam’s father who worked as a window cleaner who taught him the art of hard graft and as 15 year old Adam was holding down multiple jobs and earning £100 a week delivering papers and milk, gardening and car washing and with three boys working for him to boot. Adam made the decision to give this up when he was introduced to the Savoy Education Trust who in turn offered him a placement as an apprentice chef at Claridges Hotel. He opened his first restaurant Thyme in Clapham in 2001, specialising in small plates with a seasonal sustainable philosophy. The restaurant won numerous awards but after a move to Covent Garden unforeseen problems caused the venture to fail, an experience that as he says, “was the most lonely place I’ve been in my life but I had a wife and a child and a mortgage so I had to get up and move on.” Adam’s restaurant group has since launched Trinity, holder of one Michelin Star, Bistro Union and Upstairs which Adam describes as “the most accidentally successful restaurant I’ve ever opened.” We will talk to Adam in a few minutes about all of this and what it means to him to be a mentor to young chefs starting in the business. We’ve also got brilliant music from amongst others Ray Brown All Star Band, Nina Simone and The Staple Singers. That’s today’s Jazz Shapers Encore Special, here’s Lonnie Listen Smith with Mardi Gras.

That was Lonnie Listen Smith with Mardi Gras and right here, right now, he’s back, it’s only been six years, it is Adam Byatt and he is our Business Shaper today, our Jazz Shaper Special Encore Edition. It is really good to have you here, how are you?

Adam Byatt
I am really well thanks Elliot, it’s great to be here, thanks for having me again.

Elliot Moss
No absolute pleasure. People may know you from the tele?

Adam Byatt
Yeah a little bit.

Elliot Moss
You’ve done a bit of that?

Adam Byatt
Yeah. Done a bit of tele. I do Saturday Kitchen from time-to-time.

Elliot Moss
Yeah.

Adam Byatt
Great British Menu, Master Chef, bits and pieces like that yep.

Elliot Moss
Lots of stuff.

Adam Byatt
Yep.

Elliot Moss
Radio. Little bits?

Adam Byatt
Only this, only with you.

Elliot Moss
Only this, only with me? Good. You say all the right things. Now we met and we know each other outside of Jazz Shapers but we met six years ago here for the first time we did this and at that point I believe you had two restaurants?

Adam Byatt
Yeah just Trinity and Bistro Union in Clapham yeah.

Elliot Moss
And Trinity at that point did not have a Michelin Star?

Adam Byatt
A Michelin Star. That’s right.

Elliot Moss
But the Michelin Star came about four years ago?

Adam Byatt
She finally arrived. Four years ago.

Elliot Moss
She finally arrived. I mean that is, it’s not the only thing that matters to a proper chef and I don’t mean that rudely to chefs that aren’t chefs in this space but in the high end that you operate in, that’s important right?

Adam Byatt
Absolutely. I think if you operate a business that is at that level and you invest all the time and the money it takes to deliver that kind of product at that level then being awarded a Michelin Star really just is the icing on the cake and makes it all you know, sort of come together properly so it’s huge.

Elliot Moss
Because there is hard graft and then there is talent right and I mean you are a grafter, you know, we talked about the fact you have been a working class boy, have you lost any of that edge because you are now in a different world and you have now been doing this a long time with you know, in an environment which you weren’t brought up in?

Adam Byatt
Yeah it’s an interesting question because actually you become, in the beginning you are continually fighting to try to be somewhat secure or safe and that’s your hunger, your continual hunger to fight against that. When you get to a position where you know, I am not finished but I am slightly more secure and safe now in my environment, my business is very robust and everything else, it’s interesting that fight, that hunger doesn’t go away.

Elliot Moss
Doesn’t it?

Adam Byatt
No it doesn’t go away, it actually manifests itself in other ways you know, I have just become much, I have become much more, I am very demanding and very driven about where I want the business to go now and I have like the support network of the entire business behind me so it is really interesting.

Elliot Moss
Is it more focussed because now you know how to channel that hunger?

Adam Byatt
Yeah, yeah.

Elliot Moss
And you are sort of…

Adam Byatt
It’s less scattergun and must more focussed in one single direction. I know exactly where I am going. To be honest Michelin helped that a little bit, it helps clarify that yeah you know what, this is the right direction, this is the right product for Trinity. We are doing the right thing and it is quite nice to have that endorsement from another professional body.

Elliot Moss
Brand. Do you worry though to the hunger point? Do you worry that you will lose it, that suddenly the working class idea had everything to prove has suddenly not… is going to wake up and go well I got there, done?

Adam Byatt
I just don’t think I will ever be like that. I just don’t think it is in my DNA you know, and there is that thing you know, a great bands first song is often their very best song right because they are so hungry and so sort of passionate about what they are doing and I don’t want it to be like that. I think everything that we do is borne out of that same hunger to be brilliant at what we do and be the best we can yeah.

Elliot Moss
Now I always thought when I’ve been to, I’ve been to one of the restaurants you have invested in and I have obviously been, very lucky enough to have been to lots of lovely restaurants, the chef mentality and we’ve talked about this before and it’s kind of a sailor goes to sea and it feels like, get on the boat, go and do your thing, work really hard, come off the boat, get lost for quite a few hours, I mean literally just oblivion in a way for many chefs. How have you managed to mature through that and still maintain that intensity in the kitchen?

Adam Byatt
It’s a really interesting question in terms of that sort of work hard, play hard thing as a young chef, that is a huge topic of conversation in the hospitality industry at the moment, mental health you know, mental awareness, keeping yourself you know, out of the danger zone and we live right on the edge of it, there is absolutely no doubt about it. Our party time is when everybody else should be, really should be asleep and we have a very small amount of time in which to wind down and I think you know, I wouldn’t say I was avoiding that, I’ve just managed to navigate my way round it. Mainly because I have a fantastic wife and family that have helped me to sort of make sure I stay on the straight and narrow and stay where I am. That’s good to say it wouldn’t have happened but it didn’t happen I am very grateful for. But I do think now it is my responsibility to make sure that some of my young cooks that might be susceptible to things like that is to make sure that they are avoiding it and they are finding other ways to excess that tension and that stress and not going down a dark road.

Elliot Moss
People think about mental health much more. It’s a thing and you know, you will read it in the press about some antics that go on the kitchen and there is a bit of bullying and all this other stuff. You obviously are now looking after a fair number of people, across it. How, and you said, of course we are more aware, how do you practically ensure that people do tread that path the right way, that they do have fun but they know when to stop? Are there pep talks that Adam has with his people?

Adam Byatt
There are, there are the odd pep talk but I think you know, it is more about being aware and just being… if you are around people all day long the thing in my business is we stand next to each other for 14/16 hours a day so if something is not right with someone you can pretty much tell you know, if you are slightly worldly you can sort of tell and if that behaviour is repetitive then you can identify it and then there might be a sort of a call for a quick coffee round the corner sort of chat. But ultimately I think they also take the lead from the example that is set from above so I just, I do make sure that the very senior team, the heads of department if you like, do tow a very strict line on how they socialise and how they behave outside of work so that that is the reputation that is set or that is the example set for the younger team.

Elliot Moss
Hard though isn’t it because you know, many people listening work in office environments and in the office there are rules, there are rules about language, there are rules about what one does, slightly different…

Adam Byatt
Kitchens are definitely still pirate ships there is no doubt about that.

Elliot Moss
Yeah.

Adam Byatt
They really are still a little bit… although there are a lot that don’t.

Elliot Moss
And you need that though don’t you? But you need that a bit don’t you because you need that creativity and that as you said, living in on the edge thing.

Adam Byatt
Yeah.

Elliot Moss
Because that’s when great stuff happens.

Adam Byatt
That’s right and we have this sort of huge buzzy time when the service happens and there is that buzz there that you just can’t get anywhere else and it is incredible but it takes people to a place that is slightly strange, it’s a slightly strange place in their head and therefore all those rules and stuff just don’t really, they don’t work in a kitchen environment but it makes it what it is, it shapes it into the environment that allows it to be creative like that.

Elliot Moss
And what happens when you see a young Adam? When you see someone and go “this guy’s got, this guy’s got some character. This young woman’s got this character.” That they’ve got some talent but they are a little bit and you throw yourself back into that age of between 15 and 20 whatever it is, young man, they’ve got something but they are probably quite hard to manage. I am imagining you were not an easy buy to manage.

Adam Byatt
I would say that’s probably right.

Elliot Moss
Probably the understatement of the year.

Adam Byatt
Yeah.

Elliot Moss
What do you do? To harness them and make sure that they do come through and flourish because we are going to talk about it later but a lot of your people have gone on to do great things.

Adam Byatt
I try… yeah that legacy thing is really important but I think if you identify someone like that I do try to, without being that fatherly patronising message, try to explain to them that this is the journey that I took, I can see a lot of characteristics in you that were in me too, if you play your cards right and you make some good decisions along the road here, you are likely to be a big success. So that’s without being patronising and parental to them, as they are not particularly keen on that but you can give those, ultimately my story tells its own tale and if they follow that then there is an opportunity to make a success out of this industry. Only a few amount of people do actually end up making a real success out of it.

Elliot Moss
And I want to talk about the success. Six years ago we were talking about empires, not empires in the sand but real empires and I want to play you this from the programme back in 2013 and just see how you feel about it.

Adam Byatt
“For me it is about pacing it out now and I am now nearly 40 and I want to sort of look at the next 20 years and pace out how this is going to work. I want to invest in some of the fantastic people that have worked for me for a long time and perhaps do another couple of restaurants but I won’t over stretch myself, ultimately three restaurants right now keep me very, very busy and they keep me very happy too and there is only so much I need or I want and I want to be able to feel and be emotionally connected with all the places that I open and if you get too big you just can’t do that.”

Adam Byatt
Wow that’s really interesting to hear yourself back isn’t it, that much time ago. I am now approaching 46 so things have definitely moved on.

Elliot Moss
You are young man.

Adam Byatt
But I have to say those principles haven’t shifted all that much, that third restaurant that I mentioned there is no longer but we are now at four restaurants so interestingly enough the story has grown, the empire if you like, it’s not really an empire but it is four restaurants, it’s a lot of people, it is a lot of moving parts but I am definitely still emotionally connected to each restaurant and each week I do cook in each restaurant and that matters to me quite a lot in terms of sort of staying very true to it and making sure that I am very engaged with what is going on there, yeah. Really fascinating.

Elliot Moss
Back then you talked about the restaurant that opened that then closed that you were involved in. When I introduced you at the beginning of the programme we talked about a restaurant again that didn’t work out in Covent Garden. Have you learnt more from these ostensible failures than the successes?

Adam Byatt
Completely. I think you know, there are many successful restaurants out there that have opened and closed an awful lot more restaurants than you realise but actually it is about solidifying and condensing what your message and your product is and once you realise that you can then work out exactly what works, where you sit in all this story and you can become very focussed on where you are going to go with it and that’s what it allowed me to do if you like, just really close down that.

Elliot Moss
And the biggest lesson you’ve learnt? If there was one around the things that haven’t worked?

Adam Byatt
Mainly to do with, two of the biggest lessons for me is everything, everything relies on the original deal and it is not really what you do, it’s where you do it.

Elliot Moss
Stay with me for more gems like that, it is my Business Shaper on this Jazz Shapers Encore Special, it’s Adam Byatt. He’ll be coming back in a couple of minutes but first we are going to hear from our partners at Mishcon de Reya some advice for your business.

You’ll be pleased to hear there is a wealth of former Business Shapers, around 400 now for you to enjoy and indeed you can hear this programme with Adam again by asking Alexa to play Jazz Shapers and there you can hear many of the recent programmes, or if you pop Jazz Shapers into iTunes or your preferred podcast platform, you can find the full archive. But back to this Special Encore Edition of Jazz Shapers where we are welcoming back former guest, Adam Byatt; chef, restaurateur and food writer who first joined us in 2013. So now you are becoming a bit of a ‘go to’ person. Things have shifted and I mentioned Sir Rocco Forte and I mentioned Brown’s Hotel. You’ve recently become the man behind Charlies, literally a couple of months ago. What’s it like? It’s a different way of doing things, it’s sort of your shop but not your shop?

Adam Byatt
It was an opportunity that came along, I cooked for the Rocco Forte family in their amazing vajura in Sicily, for four years in a row as a guest chef. Met the wonderful Aliai Forte and the family, they obviously liked what I did. I liked the way that they treated hospitality. We talked, we lunched, we chatted and eventually turned it up that they needed someone to come on board to look after the restaurant at Brown’s Hotel in Albemarle Street. Now when you look at that from my perspective I am doing what I do in Clapham it is incredibly successful, very robust, 13 years but actually for me to get on to an address like that, would take an incredible amount of capital and risk and you know, in this particular day and age on the high street I am not sure I would particularly want to do that. So this was an opportunity I wasn’t going to turn down. The role actually is the Food and Beverage Director for the hotel so whilst we have opened a restaurant called Charlies, named after the late Lord Forte, we have also had me installed to do all of the food inside of the hotel. So if you go into Browns and you eat anything in room dining, private dining, afternoon tea, restaurant, canapes, whatever you have there, it all comes under my… comes across my desk if you like. But having said that, I do cook there as well. I cook there two days a week or whatever I can or bits and pieces throughout the week, I cook there often. I am in there a lot and I have installed fourteen members of my team there and that’s what’s given it the structure and the backbone to create that culture because whilst it’s… you are going in and writing a load of menus and bringing in some food supply and coming up with some dishes is one element to what we do but actually I think it is much bigger than that. What I do is install a food culture where everybody thinks about food the same way, they talk about food the same way, they care about people, they look after each other in the same way because food is the centre of that, in the way that we think and talk about food and that is what I have tried to really install into there. We are only a few months in Elliot but actually you know this will take two to three years to get to the place that I really dream it will get to but ultimately we are inside one of the most iconic, beautiful hotels in London and Browns is the first hotel ever in London and remains quintessentially brilliant in my opinion.

Elliot Moss
In terms of the culture, if you were describing in a couple of lines what this ethos is or the philosophy according to Adam Byatt as it relates to food and what you want to enthuse your team to feel. What would be the one or two first things? If Moses was bringing down his ten commandments, what are Adam’s?

Adam Byatt
It’s about making sure that food is front and centre of every conversation of every decision, guest experience with food is absolutely the first point of call. It is very easy, especially, it’s easy in a restaurant but it is even easier in a hotel to get laid down with the politics and the people and the levels of all this kind of different conversations that go on, the blame culture and all this red tape and all those horrible words you hear about you know, in larger corporations but actually if you can just wash all that aside and say “no, no, food and the guest experience is going to be first and foremost of every single conversation, all we are going to do actually is talk about that, we are not going to blame each other, we are not going to talk about… we are just going to think how can we make this food better, how can we buy it better, how can we prepare it better, how can we be more efficient about it, how can we get a better experience to the guest.” If all the conversations start that way, it tends to dilute a lot of political rubbish that happens.

Elliot Moss
We’ve talked a little bit about the food culture which obviously must be the most important thing. The second thing and it is equally important are the people and you referenced the fact, got my fourteen people across, I’ve imported in this structure, we know what we are doing, we look at each other and we know what is happening. People are important to you and I just want to again play you something from the original programme that we did back in 2013 and just see if this still makes sense to you.

Adam Byatt
“I value what I was given, so much so that is the one area that I absolutely donate my time to for free and give where I possibly can is the training of youth because I am very acutely aware that without those people taking that risk at that moment on me, which I think was a risk, then I would never be where I am today and I am a very lucky guy you know, to be able to get up and go to work and do what I love every day, you know, that’s a privilege right now and to be able to give that back to perhaps to just a handful of, you know, young chefs then that is absolutely my duty.”

Adam Byatt
Yeah lovely, that’s very interesting to hear that. Obviously I still maintain that as a principle but what has happened is my business has grown, my, my reputation or stature or whatever has grown so now it is actually less about that. What I was talking about there was about getting into colleges and getting into that kind of stuff. Now because I have the resources and the openings in the template of business that I have, it is now about going forward, leaving a legacy. So this is now about taking those people that are brilliant, shining lights, fantastic people that have stuck by me, worked hard, done incredible things and giving them a platform to become hugely successful. So it is a sort of second stage of that if you like. I still believe in all of those principles but now I have the…

Elliot Moss
Platform?

Adam Byatt
I have the platform to provide an amazing opportunity for these guys to become superstars and ultimately that’s how this whole thing will go full circle for me.

Elliot Moss
There is a lot of independence or rather the importance of being independent and independent thinkers in your business, it is critical. How many people now are in the inside of the four different restaurants and indeed the food and beverage piece that you are covering?

Adam Byatt
Over 150 people report to me on a daily basis like that yeah.

Elliot Moss
And how do you ensure that each one of them is empowered to do what they need to do?

Adam Byatt
By making sure that the key heads of people are all from my stock if you like. They all think like me, talk like me, they verse like me. We have the same culture and belief. What’s often misconstrued is that hospitality is about chairs and tables and food and wine, it’s not about that at all. It’s 100% about people. It’s all people. My business is 100% people. If I could go back 25 years now, the one thing I would do is a psychology Degree because having 150 people working for you, you could really do with a psychology Degree because it is really all about making sure those people are as acutely efficient, on board, in tune with your culture, in tune with what you believe as humanly possible and they work so hard, I just spend my time looking after people and making sure they are right really.

Elliot Moss
It reminds me speaking to you again that you are – it sounds a bit of a strange thing to say – you are incredibly intelligent which is you know, in the sense that you didn’t do a University Degree, you talk about psychology there. What you’ve learnt, you’ve learnt on the job. How do you continue to learn in what you are doing because you’ve obviously… you are obviously interested in the psychology of people.

Adam Byatt
Yeah.

Elliot Moss
You are obviously interested in ensuring people have the right environment.

Adam Byatt
In my business yeah.

Elliot Moss
Where has all that come from?

Adam Byatt
Yeah well it is a really good question and I can answer that straight away. When this opportunity for Browns Hotel came along for the Forte Family I have to say obviously I thought great expansion, great financial security, great my team can evolve and the next thing I thought was fantastic I have the opportunity to learn because I don’t really get that much opportunity to learn and actually I could get quite comfortable in my business now because it is quite strong and it is where it is but I just thought immediately I thought I can learn, I am going into a hugely well-established, incredible hotel group, into one of the best hotels in London, they have to have information that I don’t have, systems, procedures, ways at looking at things, ways of dealing with things, ways of approaching things that I’ve never seen before. I am going to learn huge amounts out of this. So that’s one of the huge drivers for me to do that job and you know the other way that I genuinely learn is by employing people, and I am not afraid to do this, who are better at things than me and often in business and often especially in the hospitality industry, people won’t employ people who are much better than them or you know, have much more knowledge than them. I am totally not afraid of that. I have some people in my business that are far better than me and I learn loads of things from them.

Elliot Moss
Stay with me for my final chat with my guest today, that’s Adam Byatt plus we will be playing a track from The Staple Singers, that’s in just a moment, don’t go anywhere.

We have had some brilliant here today as we always do but it is particularly good here on this Jazz Shapers Encore Special. That was The Staple Singers with If You Are Ready Come Go With Me. I am with Adam Byatt, he has been my Encore guest today and he is with me just for a few more minutes. We’ve talked about a lot of things, about food culture, we’ve talked about people, we’ve talked about you and learning. The other thing and it’s come up a couple of times today, I asked you about the two biggest things you’ve learnt and the two things you said in the order was, number one, get the deal right, the deal is really important. Number two, it’s where not what. I want to go back to the deal and I want to go back to the fact now you are running a business and obviously that’s at the heart of everything you do because if you don’t make a buck you are finished no matter how good you are. The graft is important, the talent is important. This commercial aptitude which you have developed, how have you done that and how does it not get in the way of the best quality service and food?

Adam Byatt
That’s a great question Elliot because actually and what I do and naturally where my go to is all about giving, it’s all about trying to please people with food, trying to make people have a great time, it’s about hospitality, it’s about generosity and all that stuff and that is totally juxtaposition against the very hard end of commercial business. So the two but against each other. But somehow I am able to do it. I don’t enjoy the business side of it as much as I enjoy the hospitality side. It is much nicer, it’s much more pleasant but I do enjoy at the end of the month looking at a PnL and thinking “do you know what we deliver amazing hospitality, we deliver brilliant food, we’ve got people that love working for us and we make money” and that makes me proud because ultimately we are not doing it as a hobby, we’re not doing it because you know, and we are not ripping it to pieces and everyone’s unhappy doing it and we are making a ton of cash. There is a really good healthy balance in the business and that’s all I am every really after, you know, I think that’s what’s important , the PnL at the end of the month.

Elliot Moss
And as you develop, the business grows and maybe there is only going to be another one or two or maybe it stays at four and you said you want to be connected, is the biggest buzz still when you are cooking and it’s service?

Adam Byatt
100%.

Elliot Moss
Is it that moment, is it literally the adrenaline hit?

Adam Byatt
It’s not the service moment, I kind of, do you know I’ve been cooking for 30 years actually in May next year. I will have rattling pans on the stove for 30 years which is actually quite a long time and that, that thing that happens in service where it is all a bit chaotic and it’s all a bit frenetic and it all comes together at the last second, do you know I can sort of take or leave that now because I have got enough going on in my life. But the actual act of cookery I still find that the most pleasurable thing in my entire life in terms of both professionally and food and what I do as a job. I just love that part of it and I think, and that’s genuine, that is that kind of… that is inside me, it is part of my DNA. I am at my happiest professionally when I am just cooking beautiful food for people and making people happy like that. And that bit, if I ever lose that, I think the business will lose a huge chunk of its greatness.

Elliot Moss
Well don’t lose it. Keep cooking. It’s been great seeing you again.

Adam Byatt
I intend not to. Thank you very much for having me, Elliot.

Elliot Moss
I’ve really enjoyed it. We don’t normally do this but you’re special.

Adam Byatt
I know you are very kind.

Elliot Moss
We are going to give you an extra song choice because you got one the first time round but apparently we can break the rules and do what we like actually. What would you like us to play?

Adam Byatt
Thanks Elliot. My… I am very privileged and the choice I want is Anita O’Day, Waiter, Make Mine Blues.

Elliot Moss
That was Anita O’Day with Waiter, Make Mine Blues, the song choice of my Encore Jazz Shapers Special, Adam Byatt. He talked about it being focussed on the giving, it was all about the giving, that is what great service and great food is about. For him also it is all about the people, get the right people and give them the space to express themselves and all will be well and finally for Adam, he is at his happiest when he is actually in the midst of cooking and how good is that to hear. That’s it from me and Jazz Shapers, have a brilliant Christmas.

We hope you enjoyed that edition of Jazz Shapers. You will find hundreds of more guests available for you to listen to in our archive. To find out more just search Jazz Shapers in iTunes or your favourite podcast platform or head over to mishcon.com/jazzshapers.

Adam Byatt is a chef, restaurateur and food writer. Exposed to the world of cooking from an early age with his grandfather, a cook in the Army, and his mother a professional chef, aged 16 Adam decided to give up his multiple jobs when he was introduced to the Savoy Education Trust who offered him a placement as an apprentice chef at Claridges Hotel.

He went on to open his first restaurant – Thyme, in Clapham in 2001 which specialises in small plates with a seasonal sustainable philosophy. Thyme has won many awards including ‘Time Out Restaurant of the Year 2003’, ‘Best Newcomer Tatler Restaurant Awards 2003’ and ‘Winner Remy Restaurant Awards 2004’.

In 2006 Adam opened another restaurant in Clapham – Trinity. Since it’s opening, Trinity has won a coveted Michelin Star, the AA’s prestigious ‘London Restaurant of the year’ as well as holding three AA rosettes for four years. Trinity was voted in the Top Ten Restaurants in London by both Hardens and Zagat in both 2010 and 2011, and has been in listed in the Times Top 100 Restaurants in the UK for the past two years.

Follow Adam on Twitter @Adambyatt.

Highlights

If you operate a business that is at a certain level and you invest all the time and the money it takes to deliver that kind of product, being awarded a Michelin Star really is the icing on the cake.

In the beginning you are continually fighting to try to be somewhat secure and safe, and that’s your hunger.

I have the support network of the entire business behind me.

I know exactly where I am going.

Everything that we do is borne out of the hunger to be brilliant.

I think it is my responsibility to make sure that some of my young cooks who might be susceptible to things like poor mental health, are supported.

My story tells its own tale.

I am emotionally connected to each of my restaurants.

What I do is install a food culture where everybody thinks about food the same way, they talk about food the same way, they care about people and they look after each other in the same way, because food is the centre of that.

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