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Chantelle Nicholson works as sous-chef at Marcus Wareing's restaurant in London.

Who taught you to cook?
It would probably be my parents when I was younger. It was more, it was always something that I was interested in from an early age and I used to be in the kitchen quite a lot.

How did you end up as a chef in London?
One kind of afternoon when I was reading the, a foodie magazine in New Zealand, and it mentioned the Gordon Ramsay scholarship and we had to submit a menu kind of a three-course menu and talk about the food, talk about what you'd done, so I thought, 'Well, why not give that a go?' So l submitted an entry and then got a phone call kind of six weeks later saying I'd got into the semi
final, which was basically 12 people, 11 of them all chefs, so I kind of felt a bit like a fish out of water, but anyway, whilst I was there I met Josh Emmet, who was the head chef at the Savoy Grill, which was run by Marcus, and at the end of it he said, 'Well, you know, there's a job at the Savoy Grill if you want one,' and it was just too good an opportunity to turn down, so it all kind of happened relatively quickly because I thought well, I can't turn this opportunity down. I was kind of at a point in my career where I was looking for another job anyway. So I just thought, 'Well, I'll do it.'

 

Top chefs have a reputation of being difficult. What's Marcus Wareing like to work for?
He is very, he's quite, I mean I wouldn't want to work for any other chef of that high calibre really. He's a very, he's a person that's very, he's got a real eye for detail and a perfectionist. But he's also got a very good business sense, which is a great thing to learn from as well, because he oversees the whole operation. So in that sense he's a great kind of mentor, I guess. I mean if he gets upset with people, it's because of what's going on on the plate or in the restaurant. There's no kind of, there's no ego there at all, it's all about what goes out on the plate and what happens, and how the guests are treated, he's very much a person that people, when people come to the restaurant he wants them to have an amazing experience, no matter if they're kind of buying a £30 bottle of wine or £3,000 bottle of wine.

Is this restaurant into the new tendencies in cooking, using science in the kitchen and things like that?
We are more, not traditional but we use traditional techniques, classic techniques. We, I guess in a sense, we're more about, Marcus, Marcus is a person that's very respectful of ingredients and basically treats, you know, will treat a carrot the same way as a piece of foie gras in the sense they're both great things that need to be looked after and treated in the right way to get the maximum kind of favour out of them and I guess we're more about making a carrot taste like a carrot as opposed to making a carrot taste like a beetroot, which, in a sense, I think some people get a little carried away with.

 
 
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