SOW: How old were you when you first took an interest in food. What is the first dish you can recall making, or helping to make at home?
DD: I've been interested in food since I can remember, but when it became serious I guess it was when I was about 15 and had started working in a local restaurant. The first dish I remember helping to make was shortbread with my mum. We made it a lot as there are only 3 ingredients needed which we always had, so we didn't have to go shopping for anything, meaning there was no excuse!
SOW: Your menus at Duck & Waffle always seem to have multiple points of inspiration. What cuisine, culture, or cooking ethos has inspired you lately and how?
DD: That's a tricky one, it's always changing. I'm loving focusing on brunch dishes at the moment, taking inspiration from all over the world, but especially India, America and Spain.
SOW: You are becoming well known for running a 'happy kitchen' at the restaurant. Can you a bit more about why it's important to you?
DD: It's fairly simple, if you're not happy at work, in any job, then what's the point? However, that doesn't mean our kitchen is unprofessional with everyone treating it like a holiday camp. I truly believe you can have clear lines, but also have a happy environment in which to work. And lastly, happy people cook better food. Fact.
SOW: What are three ingredients you always have in your fridge or pantry at home?
DD: Salt, avocado & eggs
SOW: What is the first tip you would give to a budding chef?
DD: Work hard, choose your restaurants carefully, and be loyal.
SOW: Favourite kitchen gadget?
DD: The microplane. No only great for parmesan but also things like garlic and ginger.
SOW: What chef would you most like to cook with or dine with and why?
DD: Paul Bocuse, he's a legend in the industry. He's very Godfather-like.
SOW: Given that Duck & Waffle does all three (and then some!) what is your favourite meal of the day?
DD: I couldn't possibly decide, if I'm hungry at breakfast, I'd say breakfast, ask me at lunch or dinner, I'd say those.
SOW: Any new projects or ventures we should be on the look out for, other than your class with School of Wok?
DD: Plenty of exciting things coming up, but I can't say what just yet!
Thank you so much Dan! If you want to learn more from this inspiring chef, join him on 4th March for a decadent class featuring all things brunch!