We were lucky enough to steal Head Chef Daniel Sherlock out of the kitchen to find out a bit more about his history, personality and culinary tips.
What inspired you to become a chef?
My father and brother, they’re both chefs and have their own restaurants so when we get together the topic of conversation is always about food! When I was really young I found it so exciting to visit my father at work and take in all the amazing smells, loud noises and what seemed like endless amounts of chefs running around with huge pots and whole animals over their shoulders. I couldn’t wait to leave school and become a chef.
What do you think is your greatest achievement so far?
I would have to say becoming Head Chef at Prism. On my first day at Prism as Chef de Partie I set myself the goal of becoming Head Chef and I’m so proud to have achieved it. It’s great to be part of a team that is passionate, forward thinking and open to new ideas.
What would be your dream meal on earth to eat and to cook?
Both of these can quite easily change every day with me, the main thing would be cooking and eating with family and keeping the food simple. Today I would probably go for some mackerel cooked over a fire in my garden with some vegetables from our allotment and wild garlic picked from the end of the garden. If you have some fresh fish and can pick vegetables from your garden there is no need to cook extravagant, over complicated food. I get a lot of pleasure from eating simply cooked fresh food that I know the origin of.
What would you be doing if you were not a Chef?
If I hadn’t become a chef I would quite like to have been a fireman. I enjoy working in a team within a pressurised environment where you are dependent upon each other.
Do you use any modern cooking techniques?
Definitely, I feel it’s very important that as a chef you keep on learning but also teaching other chefs around you new and interesting techniques which helps to benefit and enhance the produce along with the customer experience. We use sous-vide as a method of cooking, done properly it gives fantastic results.
What is your favourite kitchen tip or piece of equipment?
My biggest tip is to plan well in advance because 99% of what you cook in the kitchen benefits from careful well thought out slow cooking; good food cannot be rushed. My favourite piece of equipment would have to be our Thermomix, it makes silky smooth purees and sauces every time.
Do you like to cook at home or do you turn off when you leave the kitchen at work?
For me being a chef isn’t just a job it’s my life, so it doesn’t stop when I leave the restaurant. Cooking at home is completely different to cooking at work, the pressures and demands of the business are totally stripped away. I’m able to take my time to experiment and create new dishes which I feel is an integral part of developing the menus at Prism.