Last year, we ran a competition with the ultimate foodie prize – dinner for two every week for a year. We got in touch with our lucky winner to find out some more about him and where he’s planning to dine in 2015.
So Joe, which restaurants are on your To Do list this year?
We’re already booked in at The Ledbury, Restaurant Story and Pollen Street Social. I’d absolutely love to get a table at Le Gavroche or Chiltern Firehouse but there’s probably more chance of me winning the Nobel Peace Prize!
Tell us about your best or most memorable dining experience.
It’s a toss-up between dining at Dinner by Heston Blumenthal or tucking into barbecued langoustines on plastic stools on the streets of Hanoi. The experiences were worlds apart (in more ways than one!) but both were pretty memorable. It’s not every day you get to try the likes of ‘Meat Fruit’ and ‘Spiced Pigeon’ in a setting as plush as the Mandarin Oriental but, then again, I don’t think I’ll ever forget the joy I felt at gorging on that cheap-as-chips-but-mouth-wateringly-good seafood and then washing it down with an ice cold beer.
What are your favourite things to eat?
I’m the son of a butcher so beef is right up there – the rarer the better! That said I love fresh fish too.
Is there one dish you’ll always order if you see it on a menu?
At the moment I can’t get enough of tuna carpaccio but I’m always keen to try new things.
If money was no object, which foodie destination would you love to travel to?
Probably San Sebastián. If money was no object I’m sure I could feel quite at home there! Although I wouldn’t turn my nose up at a trip to Kyoto or Tokyo either.
What’s most important to you when you eat out – good food? Great service? Ambience?
Good food and great service. The service can make or break a dining experience in my opinion.
Who is your favourite celeb chef?
Having worked on one of his TV shows, I’m going to say Gordon Ramsay. He’s an incredible chef and a great TV talent.
We’ll be checking in with Joe later in the year to find out which restaurants blew him away and where’s next on his To Do list. Stay tuned!