Gary Crocker [thecrock]
When did you start cooking? Who got you started in this art?
My mum taught me to cook. Then joined the Army Catering Corps enlisted for 6 years
Why did you decide to pursue a career in food?
It was the creativity that got me. I learnt to express myself through food
Is there a website or blog where we can see something about you and your cooking?
What culinary training have you received? Where have you learned more, in class or by experimenting?
Army Catering Corps 1973 - 1979
How and where did you get your first job as a professional cook?
White House Hotel Albany Street London NW1
How would you define your style?
Do you select and buy the ingredients yourself? Where?
Yes I selsct all my ingredients Meat from Smithfield Market London, Fruit & Veg from local markets all other ingredients from Community Foods London NW2
What is your favorite spice to cook with and why?
Paprika very versatile fine peppery taste without too much heat
What is your signature dish or your favorite recipe?
My favourite recipe is my own Red Onion Jelly.
Beef Goulash on a bed of mustard mash.
What is your favorite cooking gadget?
Magimix food processor
Who have been the biggest inspirations in your career?
The late Keith Floyd
Do you have an funny kitchen incident to share with us?
I once slipped in the kitchen carrying a meal, as i slipped i managed to keep the meal upright whilst laying on the floor another chef walked past, took the meal served it to the diner then came back and picked me up the whole incident took about 1 minute. I was laying on the floor laughing my head off
If you were stranded on a deserted island for one year, what dish would ask to eat after your rescue?
Cold Roast Turkey with Red Cabbage and crispy Roast Potatoes
If any chef in the world could prepare a meal for you, who would it be?
Men versus women: do they cook differently?
Is there something you hate to see when you go to a restaurant as a customer?
Yes, why do they assume everybody is right handed?
Do you sometimes find yourself eating junk-food?
Yes but not very often
Who cooks in your home?
My lovely wife, Julie
Tell us about your favorite wines and other drinks to accompany food.
I do not drink i'm afraid i always have coffee to start, water whilst eating and coffee to finish
What tendencies do you see coming on strong?
Difficult one this. I have found that spices are widely used now and sometimes spices are put into food when there is no need. Chilli sauce is a good one, why do resturants think the hotter it is the better Chilli is very versatile and if used properly it would serve a lot more types of custom
What do you think about molecular gastronomy in terms of introducing chemical elements into dish preparation?
That is scientific i cannot get my head round it.
What new techniques are you interested in learning
Any - i am always open for things new or brush up on
What are some of your professional goals for the future?
A gold medal for one of my products. To serve independant foodies with my products
What advice would you give to someone in high school who would like to pursue a culinary career?
Explain it is hard work but there are terrific rewards for those that really do work hard.
Do not be afraid to express yourself through you're food.
What would you say to a novice in the kitchen to help them get over their fear of cooking?
Give encouragement, sound advice. Start off with tasks the novice is confident with.
Allow them to ask questions as often as possible
London - United Kingdom