The Weekender Interview: Will Holland

By Joe Lutrario contact

- Last updated on GMT

Will Holland Atlantic Hotel

Related tags: Chefs, Hotel, Restaurant, Will Holland

Will Holland is the executive chef of The Atlantic Hotel in Jersey. Holland has been working in top kitchens since he as 18 with a CV that includes Coast Restaurant in Pembrokeshire and La Becasse in Shropshire.

What image do you currently have on your phone’s wallpaper?
A photo of my wife and I leaving the church just after getting married. You can just about see us through all the confetti.

What was your first job?
When I was 12 years old I got a job as a butcher’s boy in a local family butchers. I worked there until I left school

Gordon or Marco? 
Marco.

What was the last film you saw in the cinema? 
I can’t remember as it was so long ago. I don’t go to the cinema, I just fall asleep straight away. I can’t even make it past the opening credits.

What is your guiltiest food pleasure?  
Ambrosia rice pudding. Cold. Straight from the tin. Or Viennetta – a whole one. 

Where are you going on your next holiday? 
Santorini. But don’t tell my wife - I’ve not told her yet. 

What industry figure do you most admire (and why)? 
Grant Achatz. For pursuing his dream and reaching the top whatever life threw at him

If you weren’t in restaurants, what would you do? 
I’d be a fireman, a rally driver or a pyrotechnic engineer.

Biggest regret?
I have no regrets. Everything happens for a reason.

Pet hates?
Poor time keeping. Speaking with your mouth full. Dirty tea towels over shoulders. Chewing toothpicks. 

What’s the oddest thing a customer has said to you?
“Will you marry me?”

Marmite: love it or hate it?
Tolerate it.

Describe your cooking style in three words
Hashtag super tasty.

What country do you next want to visit?
Vietnam. 

Most overrated food?
Beef fillet.

Restaurant czar for a day – what would you implement?
Ban the use of mobile phones at the table. 

What’s the worst review you’ve ever had?
Elfreda Pownall in The Telegraph. It was absolutely brutal. 

What made you want to become a chef?
For as long as I can remember it’s all I’ve ever wanted to do. I don’t know where it comes from.

What do you cook at home on your days off?
Barbecues. Thai food. Mexican eggs. Traditional roasts. Peri-peri chicken.

What advice would you give someone starting out in the industry?
Don’t be on time – be early. Be relentless and respectful. Listen. Work cleanly and as fast as you can. Have fun. And if you think today is hard, wait until tomorrow.

Which single item of kitchen equipment could you not live without?
My sous chef Adam Braithwaite. He’s a machine so technically I can class him as equipment. 

iPhone or Android?
iPhone.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
There’s a lot more to being a chef than putting food on a plate. And think twice, cut once. 

What’s your earliest memory? 
It’s also food related - creeping downstairs to our kitchen early in the morning not to wake my parents and mixing flour and water together to make ‘biscuits’.

Where do you go when you want to let your hair down?
The boxing club.

Twitter or Instagram?
Twitter.

Tipple of choice?
Lager. I’m into Hop House 13 or Zywiec at the moment.

What would you choose to eat for your last meal?
Roast Cote De Boeuf, Béarnaise sauce and French fries washed down with a bottle of Barbera d’Alba.

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