When I was a kid I was amazed by Willy Wonka in ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’. I think that’s probably where my love for chocolate came from, and maybe the experimental aspect too. The element of nostalgia always makes cooking with chocolate (and eating it!) really enjoyable.
Testing the combination of different flavours is a big part of my cooking style, and chocolate always offers good opportunities for me to do that. There are so many different things you can do when cooking with chocolate, and so many different flavour combinations. Not just the usual aspects, but really unusual and exciting flavours too, as I love to surprise my diners with a taste of the unexpected. My winning desserts for Scottish Chef of the Year 2015 and British Culinary Federation Chef of the Year 2014 focused heavily on chocolate with orange and caramel.
Strangely enough, I’m not usually a huge fan of overly sweet things but I like to combine sweet and savoury flavours to create something new and exciting, and chocolate is perfect for that.