PAUL DA COSTA GREAVES
Chef of Great Britain Paul Da Costa Greaves is a chef
with a difference. Extraordinarily talented and inventive,
he combines a magical approach to making and preparing
food with great people skills. Colourful, funny and
highly original, he brings the most everyday cooking
experience to life . . . . . more
Whom do you most admire for their achievements?
Jamie Oliver, I take my hat off to him.
Who is your favourite chef?
A: I love Charlie Trotter for inspiration and good
old Delia for a foolproof recipe.
With whom would you most like to have dinner?
A: Mrs Beeton, Charlie Trotter and Elizabeth Luard!
A wonderful balance on traditional, imaginative, spontaneous
What would be your desert island disk?
A: Bit of Bob Marley playing to the steel drums
whilst me sipping me rum . . .
What is your favourite British food?
A: Aaaah, I'm really sorry but Northern fish 'n
chips and mushy peas from Blackpool.
What is your favourite Italian food?
A: I love Pizza Express!
What is your favourite French food?
A: Mmmm, Coq au Vin . . . my mouth's drooling.
What is your favourite World food?
A: I really, really look forward to West Indian
Food - curried goat, jerk chicken, rice 'n peas, fried
plantain, jonny cake, ackee, salt fish fritters and
bakewell tart and custard to finish, dead classy!
What do you like most about your job?
A: I love being in the moment, a delicate journey
that never stops.
How would you describe eating in the UK to someone who's
never visited it?
A: Experiment with an open mind! And you won't be
Do you think food in the UK has changed for the better
since the days of Duck with Orange and huge helpings
of Black Forest Gateau?
A: Fortunately yes, loads . . . however I do believe
it gave us a good platform and know we do a posh updated
version of black forest gateau!
What's the best thing about eating in the UK?
A: A versatile repertoire, you can mix and match
to your heart's content!
And the worst?
A: Experiment with an open mind and choose your
At what sort of place do you regularly go to eat?
A: The Galley fish and seafood restaurant in Topsham,
Exeter! I love the contemporary twist, the freshness
and the balance of spices Paul uses, somehow I make
it work beautifully!
Would you like to live and work somewhere other than
the UK and if so where and why?
A: Jamaica . . . home from home. Nothing better
than picking your own coffee and talking Aunt Marva
into giving me Nanas old recipes, My Father's West Indian
and my Mother's English, living just outside Kingston
six months of the year and six months here . . . what
a lovely balance..
What's your favourite food?
A: The Healthiest fast food around . . . good old
fish 'n chips!
When did you first get involved in cooking?
A: I think around the age of four! There is a saying
up north . . . you start walking, you start working.
Somehow I always remember being fascinated watching
my mother take different spices out of the spice jar,
bashing them up and rubbing them into the meat or vegetables
the night before!
What sort of people have you cooked for during your
career. Most memorable or most forgettable?
A: Princess Margaret was the most memorable for
me, being sweet sixteen in Catering College, having
to cook for her, then having to go out and serve dessert
to her . . . my heart was racing and my right hand was
shaking far too much. She placed her hand on my arm
to calm me! Didn't help!
Oh god, my most forgettable experience was taking up
the position of Executive Head Chef for the Glaxo Welcome
research and development site in Ware, Hertfordshire.
Lots of changes definitely needed to be made, and I
wasn't the most welcomed person as the sitting contractors
had lost their tender! I was the new boy in town. After
a site survey I decided to immediately change a few
things . . . 5:00 am I greet the milkman and cancelled
the long standing order of flavoured milk shakes, thinking
these 3,500 on site medical and lab technicians needed
to grow up! After briefing my two Head Chefs (one of
them being Richard who plays Gary in Eastenders, still
a troublemaker) suggested I was making a mistake! I
didn't listen and the meeting with forty plus chefs
was interrupted by the chief technician wanting the
milk shakes, I then find to my utter embarrassment they
weren't for the staff but for the marmoset monkeys instead!
That taught me!
Do you ever have regrets that you chose to become a
A: No regrets, best path I ever chose and I would
do it again twice over!
What do you think you would have been if you had not
become a chef?
A: Love to have been on stage, maybe in the theatre,
as I've always liked being centre of attention or possibly
a politician as I can talk for England!
What would be your advice to someone who is thinking
of training to be a chef?
A: Don't go to college! Although I do have a great
respect for colleges you'll gain a higher knowledge
of practical NVQ through an established, independent
restaurant or hotel, or make contact with the Chefs
Guild or Master Chefs of Great Britain.
The career of one famous chef only came about because
his professional football career came to an early close
through injury, and one chef's plans to open a restaurant
never happened when he became football manager of Aberdeen
and later Manchester United. Has fate ever played a
part in your career?
A: Most definitely. I desperately needed a higher
force to understand my thoughts, my passion, my emotions,
my enthusiasm, my work and the creative life I lead,
I find this within my complimentary therapy as it keeps
me spiritually grounded.
What are your hobbies, spare time interests, what do
you do to relax?
A: I like cooking, talking, socialising, eating,
theatre, more talking, reading, swimming, creating new
food ideas for my retail brand of consumer foods. I
love being apart of my Friday Clinic where I practice
spiritual and energy healing, and my relaxing time is
spent through Buddhism, aromatherapy and massage, experimenting
with flower and herbal remedies for food nourishment.
find out more about Paul
Da Costa Greaves
Email Hub-UK : firstname.lastname@example.org