Catch man in the kitchen one finger skankin’
Don’t really know how to start this..
Hello! I’m Rob, born and raised in Cambridge and I’ve been a chef for just over seven years. Growing up I was always surrounded by food, both of my parents are keen cooks and food lovers in general, so I guess I have both of them to thank for my interest and passion when it comes to food. I remember cooking a lot with my mum when I was young and she taught me a lot, she was very traditional with her food, so I also learnt a lot from Delia Smith and Mary Berry without really knowing it, although now she comes to me for advice, which is pretty cool that it’s come full circle. Food to me isn’t just a meal, a set of ingredients, a recipe, a career or even a hobby! It’s a huge part of my life and who I am, it’s relaxing, it’s a comforting and most of all, it’s fun!
I’ve dedicated most of my adult life to cooking and food, starting out as an apprentice at Midsummer House in Cambridge, working my way up to Sous Chef in a small village pub and now at a continental delicatessen just outside of Cambridge. Of course it’s been hard; I’ve worked incredibly long hours, barely had a social life sometimes and wanted to give up more than once. Yet on the reverse of that, I’ve had some incredible opportunities, done things I’ll never forget and met some truly inspiring people; and I’ve never stopped learning along the way, so for those reasons, I wouldn’t change any of this for the world.
When it comes to the food I like cooking for myself or for my friends, I’m heavily inspired by middle eastern and Asian cuisine. I’ve always loved trying new ideas, using exotic spices and flavours, things I never really knew about when I was younger. One of the first people outside of my mum and dad to really inspire me was Jamie Oliver, watching him on TV as an awkward teenager made me realise you didn’t have to be boring to be a chef, know what I mean tiger? As I’ve got older, I’ve started to pay attention to a lot of other chefs from various backgrounds, including Yotam Ottolenghi, Ramael Sculli, Matty Matheson and Arian Asllani (although you probably know him as Mr. Wonderful, Action Bronson).
If I could give tips to anyone who wants to learn how to cook, or just build on what they know, watch TV, talk to people about food, share ideas, buy cooking books in charity shops or on eBay, look up things on youtube! The internet is a fantastic place to find inspiration. That and taste your food before you season it. Trust me.
Words by Rob Millett.