Darren Watson has been more than happy to give some of his time and a I really appreciate him taking part in this Chef Interviews. I could really tell that Darren has a real passion for food as well as the overall food industry. Looking at some of the dishes that Darren creates, you can really see he has an eye for detail. The styling on the plate is incredible and can imagine just how popular his food would be with his guests.
Its also nice to think that if he did decide to stop being a chef, we could rely on him to lead the planet 😉
When Did You First Have An Interest In Cooking?
It Was Not Until About 8 Years Into Being A Chef. I Didn’t Enjoy The First Eight Years So Much Because Kitchens Were Different Places From What They Are Now. And It Took Me That Long To Feel Comfortable In My Skills And Techniques. I Only Became A Chef Due To Me Getting Kicked Out Of School And My Next Door Neighbor Was A Head Chef. He Heard My Mum Telling Me I Had To Do Something Quick Or I Was In Hot Water So To Speak. He Offered Me A Job And Sent Me To College To Do My Apprenticeship Or NVQ Qualification.
How Long Have You Been Cooking Professionally?
I have been cooking professionally for 23 years now.
Where Do You Get Your Inspiration From?
From Everywhere But I Have Menus To Write For 11 F&B Outlets At The Caravelle So When I Get Any Ideas They Are Logged Straight Away Because I Will Use Them At Some Point. Most Of My Inspiration Comes From Seeing Product Whether It’s At A Food Market Or Samples That Suppliers Bring Me. Depending On The Restaurant Depends How Often We Change The Menu.
- The Fine Dining Restaurant We Change Every Month
- Tapas Every 3 Months
- Room Service 1 Time per Year
- Champagne Lounge 3 Times per Year
- Our Bar 1 Time per Year
- Buffet Restaurant on 6 Week Rotation of Dishes. No Same Dish Served For 6 Week Period
- Our Coffee Shop 2 Times Per Year
- Spa We Take From Room Service Menu So Doesn’t Really Count
- Our Lounge 1 Time Per Year
- Pool Bar Taken From Room Service
- Casino Once Per Year
- Also Have BQ Facilities For 1200 Sitting Down
If You Was Not A Chef, What Would You Do?
I Really Have No Idea What Else I Would Want To Do. I Live And Breathe Being A Chef. It Takes Up 17 Hours Of My Time Per Day. Maybe The Leader Of The Free World. If Hilary Or Donald Can Get The Job, How Much More Could I Screw Up The Planet Than One Of Them Two 😉
How Would You Describe Your Cooking Style?
Modern, Pleasing To The Eye, Light, Fresh, Quirky, Well Thought Out And Creative…
What Course Do You Prefer To Cook?
I Enjoy Creating Desserts I Feel I Can Put Some Humour Into Desserts Which You Can’t With Starters Or Mains. I Enjoy Creating All Dishes Really So Doesn’t Really Matter If Starter, Main Or Dessert
What is Your Favourite/Signature Dish To Make?
Changes All The Time…I Guess Dishes That Are Designed Around A Memory That In My Head Captures A Time, Place And Feeling
What is Your Favourite Ingredient To Cook With?
Any As Long As Its In A Perfect State It Can Be Anything From A Perfect Piece Of Seafood, Nice Marbled Beef, A Vegetable I Love All Ingredients And Try And Treat Them All With The Same Respect.
What is Your Favourite Dish To Eat?
Anything That Involves Sharing But I Am Also Partial To A Curry That My Chefs In Room Service Make Me Quite Often For Dinner.
What Other Chefs Inspire You?
Too Many To Mention. Ryan Clift In Singapore, Andréé Chiang In Singapore Are Two That Spring To Mind Only Because They Are Close By. The Old Cook Who Make Banh Mi On The Street Corner Is An Inspiration…I Could Go On And On All Day. Basically Anyone That Cares And Wants To Make You Happy.
Any Advice You Would Give To Wannabe Chefs?
If You’re Not Willing To Sacrifice Everything For Your Craft You Will Never Succeed In This Industry And It Will Not Be Easy Making It To The Top And Getting Respect From Your Peers. Also I Get Inspired By The 140 Chefs I Work With At The Caravelle.
Again I would really like to thank Darren for taking part in the interview, I really do appreciate it.
Please do follow Darren on all of the social media channels to keep up to date with his activities!