I swim like a fish and I have an amazing kick.
If you want to become a great chef, you have to work with great chefs. And that's exactly what I did.
As a soccer player, I wanted an FA Cup winner's medal. As an actor you want an Oscar. As a chef it's three-Michelin's stars, there's no greater than that. So pushing yourself to the extreme creates a lot of pressure and a lot of excitement, and more importantly, it shows on the plate.
I don't like looking back. I'm always constantly looking forward. I'm not the one to sort of sit and cry over spilt milk. I'm too busy looking for the next cow.
The minute you start compromising for the sake of massaging somebody's ego, that's it, game over.
There's a bond among a kitchen staff, I think. You spend more time with your chef in the kitchen than you do with your own family.
I train my chefs completely different to anyone else. My young girls and guys, when they come to the kitchen, the first thing they get is a blindfold. They get blindfolded and they get sat down at the chef's table... Unless they can identify what they're tasting, they don't get to cook it.
I've had a lot of success; I've had failures, so I learn from the failure.
Cooking is about passion, so it may look slightly temperamental in a way that it's too assertive to the naked eye.
I think every chef, not just in America, but across the world, has a double-edged sword - two jackets, one that's driven, a self-confessed perfectionist, thoroughbred, hate incompetence and switch off the stove, take off the jacket and become a family man.
Chefs are nutters. They're all self-obsessed, delicate, dainty, insecure little souls and absolute psychopaths. Every last one of them.
I still love football, though, and I think cooking is like football. It's not a job, it's a passion. When you become good at it, it's a dream job and financially you need never to worry. Ever.
I'm not trying to take New York by storm. I just want to sneak in there, keep my head down, batten down the hatches and cook.
The pressure on young chefs today is far greater than ever before in terms of social skills, marketing skills, cooking skills, personality and, more importantly, delivering on the plate. So you need to be strong. Physically fit. So my chefs get weighed every time they come into the kitchen.
I am what I am. A fighter.
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