Q&A Ollie Dabbous

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Ollie Dabbous, chef, restaurateur

The cookbook that has most influenced your cooking

I remember reading one of Raymond Blanc’s early cookbooks, which was a complete eye-opener. A few years later I was working for him. A few years later he invested in my first restaurant

The food of love… What would you cook to impress a potential date

Fresh pasta. Though realistically I would just invite them to Hide

Your top five dinner guests, dead or alive?

Preferably alive. Better conversation, I find

Fast food –  your top snack tip

Always have some cheese in the fridge

Most memorable meal in film/literature/painting

There are some nice vignettes of kitchen life and scenes from a steakhouse in The Minotaur Takes a Cigarette Break

Your worst kitchen disaster

The first time I made black pudding as a trainee chef and didn’t really know what I was doing… the end result was fine but my section looked like a murder scene

The best thing to do with a pheasant?

I haven’t cooked pheasant in years. I would colour the crown then cook it very gently on the bone, then serve with roast autumn vegetables & buttery lentils

What would you like your final meal to be?

A crisp green salad, shepherd’s pie then trifle

What did you eat for breakfast today?

Coffee & a multivitamin

What’s in your fridge?

Mainly condiments. After work when I get home, I’ll usually grab a pitta bread, then some fruit or yoghurt, but I am not usually particularly hungry having been around food all day

Your inheritance recipes – the one you inherited [and from whom] and the one you’d like to pass on to your children

I didn’t really inherit any recipes to pass on. More important than any single recipe, however, is to learn the basics of cooking. I do plan to teach my son how to cook and give him confidence in the kitchen, so he will be able to cook well for himself and eat healthily in the years to come

Ollie Dabbous’s Piccadilly-based restaurant Hide won its first Michelin star less than six months after it opened. Set Lunch at Hyde costs £48. For details visit


Picture credit: Joakim Blockstrom