An Interview With The Ginga Chef at Old Thorns

An Interview With The Ginga Chef at Old Thorns


At Old Thorns, we’re passionate about our food and each dish we create, which is why we are delighted welcome Joe, fondly referred to as the Ginga chef, to our kitchen team. We sat down with our new Brasserie chef over a cup of tea to understand what makes him tick.

When did you first know that you were going to be a chef?

When I was about 15/16 years old. My dad is a chef, which helped make the decision when I was looking for something to do after college. I was really searching for something as a future career, so I fell into cooking naturally.

What is the best thing about being a chef?

I like the creativity and the pace of the kitchen. I love cooking and I love food. Cooking is my main hobby.

What is your signature dish at work and at home?

If I was to cook for a male, then it would be a good steak with triple cooked chips and a nice Béarnaise sauce. For a woman I would do something more elegant like scallops.

What is your role at Old Thorns?

I’m the Brasserie chef, which means working on and carefully honing the new Brasserie menu. The plan is to continue to improve the menu and then by the end of the year have a rosette to highlight out success. During my previous employment, I gained experience with cooking food for a university canteen. From traditional classics to fine dining, as well as for grand events. Now I am taking on the challenge of a refined food menu and I am really enjoying it.

Who do you work with on a day to day basis?

I run everything through Tristan, who is the head chef at Old Thorns. He helps me with the ideas and tells me what he likes and doesn’t like. He is basically there through every process, from menu writing to the dish going out – his input and feedback to me is gold dust. As Tristan has so much cooking experience, I take everything he says onboard.

Of course, it’s not just me doing the brasserie menu all by myself. I have help from Karen, who is the chef de partie and Paul the sous chef, who helps with the brasserie when I am not there – I am only not in 2 days a week. The great thing is I can leave it with the rest of the team, as they are fully capable of providing the exceptional level of quality Old Thorns is renowned for.

When are you at your happiest at work?

I love so many different aspects of the job, from creating the menus to the actual cooking process and obviously the positive feedback is the cherry on top. The best part of it all is at the end of a busy night where everyone – from guests to our waiting staff – goes home with a smile on their face…I can’t ask for more.

Thanks for your time Joe and we’re looking forward to what you rustle up in the kitchen in 2019.

Quick fire round

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