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Restaurant: Hamersley's
Chef/Owner: Gordon Hamersley

When did you first know you wanted to be a chef?
I started as a dishwasher in about 1974 or 1975 and it essentially mushroomed from there. By the late 1970's I had realized that being a chef was a great way to make a living.

What are you most proud of in your culinary career?
Opening Hamersley's with Fiona. It was a dream come true and we did it on a shoe string. Those first few years were hard but very satisfying.

How would you describe working in your kitchen?
It's a great place to learn the basics of French cooking. It is intense, semi-fast paced and it changes with the seasons.

What type of food do you dislike?
I love all food that is honest and well cooked. I hate food that is pretentious and fake.

What are your guilty pleasures? terms of food, of course!
Canned chili, peanut m&m's and cotton candy.

With all the trends coming and going, what do you think Will be the next big thing in the food world?
I have no idea, I don't think about trends.

Which dish will follow you wherever you go?
Our roast chicken. We've been doing it more or less the same way at this restaurant for 25 years. Everything else has changed but not that. It's just a simple roasted bird done with classic flavors, but it really works.

What would your last meal on earth be, and where would you have it?
Letıs about a gang of chefs like Jacques Pepin, Thomas Keller, Andre Soltner and Alice Waters all meet at the market in aix en Provence say in the fall...a nice little 5 course meal cooked by those guys would be a good send off don't you think!

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