We put six questions to our Head Chef Simon Malin, about food, his job and of course a Shakespearean date night.
1. What do you cook on your day off?
We always cook lots of fresh food at home and keep it simple. Lots of fresh fish, meat, vegetables. The other day we made homemade burgers which is quite unusual as we don’t have much fast food normally. Generally, we might do something like pot roast chicken, fish – I do love fish.
2. What’s the funniest thing that has happened to you as a Head Chef?
I once made a cake with salt instead of sugar by mistake... I didn’t realise until it had gone out. It didn’t quite rise as it should’ve done and I thought ‘that’s a bit odd’. I suppose that was quite funny, however it was NOT funny at the time, very embarrassing but it is the only error I’ve ever made.
3. What is your favourite cuisine and why?
Good question! I’d probably have to say Italian/Mediterranean, I just love the simplicity of the flavours and the ingredients – it just always reminds me of summer and sunshine. I do love French, British and Asian food.
4. Did you always want to be an Executive Head Chef and why?
I think it’s something that you work up to. I just wanted to go as high as I could do, for example when I was a chef my first aim was to become a Head Chef. I’ve run lots of different kitchens since then! An Executive Head Chef is an extension of that really although it’s a big step as it’s more managerial - I need organisation skills, strategic-thinking, financial skills as well as the people-skills to run a large team with multiple kitchens and outlets. It’s a whole different set of skills that you have to learn over time.
5. What makes the RSC catering team so special?
We’re all really friendly, very hard working and dedicated. It’s just a nice place for people to work. Everybody is individual and everyone is different; we have different nationalities, different backgrounds and I like the fact that we put all those people together as we’ve all got different skill sets and perspectives.
6. If you could suggest a dish from our Restaurant for Romeo and Juliet to have on their date night, what would you recommend?
This is very simple - it’s got to be our chocolate mousse with raspberries. We even did a heart-shaped version on Valentines day so that would be even better.