We caught up with infamous chef Jamie Ward and got to know the man behind the amazing food.
Here’s 20 forking questions with Jamie Ward…..
1. This isn’t blind date… but what’s your name and where do you come from?
“Jamie Robert Ward- born in London but grew up in Mijas Costa, Spain”
2. Where did you love of food come from?
“My love of food came from my childhood, I always remember my family gathering together for a feast and both my parents were good cooks and my Nan as well.”
3. How did you become a chef?
“I left school just before turning 16 with the sole intention of becoming a chef. I worked in various places and at 18 went to Australia, where I studied my Chef degree in the Watermark Hotel on the Gold Coast.”
4. Where/what is your current job? Tell us about it!
“I’m just embarking on my own adventure where I’m working on a few exciting projects. A little taster- home cooking classes, private chefing, as well as bigger events like parties, weddings etc. I am also starting a unique channel where you can find my secret cooking tips and interact with me personally, asking any questions regarding food and cooking. So busy busy at the moment!”
5. What’s been your most challenging role/job to date?
“Being an owner/head chef is a new struggle entirely because not only do you have to run a team in the kitchen and the front of house team but also everything else that comes with being an owner of a business. It’s hard but totally worth it!”
6. Who is the chef you most look up to and why?
“I look up to many chefs; ones that I’ve worked alongside and worked for and ones that have worked for me. There are of course celebrity chefs like Ramsay for example- he is not about being poncy like many other Michelin star chefs. His food is honest that’s had thought and love go in to it from the 1st stage. Like buying the right produce and all the way through to plating it.”
7. What’s your signature dish? And are you willing to divulge this recipe in our ‘The Forking Recipes’ Section?
“My most talked about dish is my King Prawn Pil Pil. I’ve had so many customers and chefs over the years ask me for the recipe and I think I’ve told maybe 2 people. However food is something we should share and brings people together so yes I will give Zero Forks Given the recipe haha!!” (We are holding you to his Jamie!!)
8. Where’s your favourite restaurant to eat out at locally?
“I like this nice Tapas place in Estepona called Casa (or Casita) del Rey”
9. When you do eat out, c’mon be truthful, do you pick it apart a little in your head?
“I do, not always for what people may think though…. I might love the dish but I’m pulling it apart to see how to recreate a certain element on the plate to add with other elements from another dish. I’m always creating or thinking about what ‘if’ when I’m eating and then paint my own picture on a plate for my customers.”
10. Which ingredient do you hate cooking with?
“Not a fan of Offal.”
11. What’s your favourite ingredient to cook with?
“Tough one, but I’d have to say Duck.”
12. Why do you love working on the Costa del Sol?
“I grew up here all my life, it’s my home.”
13. Tell us an industry secret
“Many of my family are Vegetarian so I’m pretty clued up on it now haha! I don’t use just one main ingredient like many people think you should. There are many different ingredients to choose from so I’d use a variety, but keep it seasonal.”
14. Bust a food myth for us
“3 second rule, it ain’t true!! If it falls on the floor it’s contaminated and rubbish, no one should ever eat anything once it’s fallen on the floor. A chef should NEVER EVER cook with it.”
15. How easy would you find it to cook a Vegan only menu? Which would be your staple ingredients?
“I would be very comfortable cooking a vegan only menu as my mum and brother are vegan. I wouldn’t say just one ingredient would be the main one, as there is a huge variety of fruit and veg out there.”
16. Where do you buy most of your produce?
“I have a butcher in Malaga that supplies to the majority of butchers along the Coast. I deal directly with him and I’ve used his produce for many years. I have a few veg suppliers depending on what end of the coast I am working.”
17. If you weren’t a chef, what would you be and why?
“I would have been a lawyer, I was an A grade student with the intention of going into law since I was like 6 or 7 but as soon as I realised food was my passion I jacked it all in. Why settle for less?!
18. Your worst kitchen nightmare has been?
“MY WORST…. Uff there have been a few what with bullshit cowboy chefs and stubborn owners/partners; but I’d have to say the worst was in Australia in this little cafe I worked in for a few months. I watched a chef drop his Japanese knife into a fryer and his first reaction was go for the knife. He put his hand in the fryer, made me feel sick seeing it.”
19. Where do you get your inspiration from for new dishes/recipes?
“It happens unexpectedly. I could be walking down the road and see certain colours in the trees and plants or smells from a restaurant that I walk past and it triggers a memory. Next thing I’m putting a dish together in my head and then on a plate.”
20. Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
“In 5 years time I’d like to see myself with a few restaurants and a fantastic team around me. I’d like to be able to travel and work between each other. I have my style of cooking, every chef does, but I have many ideas and wouldn’t be able to do them all in the one place. Plus I love travelling so two birds and all that, haha”
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