The Padstow protégé has invited some of his chef pals down to Cornwall for three days of food and music fun at Rock Oyster Festival this July. The host reveals who’s on the guest list and what gets him grooving in the kitchen
Which kitchen item couldn’t you live without?
A sharpening steel – I don’t like blunt knives. I’m a pretty low-tech chef, so I’m happy with just a set of super-sharp knives.
What do you listen to in the kitchen?
I don’t listen to music during service as I need to be able to hear my colleagues, but during prep I listen to all sorts – everything from metal and jazz to electronica.
At home it’s very different. I have two young children who love cooking with me, so there have been a lot of Disney songs in my kitchen lately.
Career highlight to date?
I’m proud of the TV show Jack Stein: Inside the Box as it was my idea. I took ten classic British dishes around the world to share their history and find out what the locals thought of them. We did roast beef in South Africa, roast pork and apple buns in Thailand, and steak and kidney pudding in Singapore.
Your most-read recipe book?
We cook a lot of veggie food at home, so probably one of the Ottolenghi books. His recipes are bulletproof.
I also love Thai Food by David Thompson. I don’t even have to look at the book anymore as I know the recipes by heart.
Favourite place to eat out?
We’re spoilt for choice in the South West, but I do really like The Gurnard’s Head near Zennor, Cornwall.
It’s more than just the food there. The cooking is great, but the ambience, setting and service are amazing too. It’s the kind of place you don’t want to leave and want to stay the night. To me, that’s the sign of a good restaurant.
Best staycation spot?
People forget that the last two years have been hardest on cities, so this year I’m making an effort to do more city staycations in places like Leeds, Cardiff and Edinburgh.
What can we except at Rock Oyster Festival?
I’ve invited a host of my chef friends who create the kind of food that complements music. Gizzie Erskine, Adam Handling, Romy Gill, Emily Scott, Rosemary Shrager and others will be joining me at the site near Rock. It will be good to cook with the old man too.
I’m hosting so I’ll be on stage for pretty much every demo over the three-day event (July 29-31). I’m taking my family so I’m excited about the whole festival experience.