I first came across Doug trawling through food blogs for some interesting recipes and dishes. His blog stood out to me because I found the presentation of his food so colourful, beautiful and well balanced. I can’t wait to try his focaccia recipe that he recently posted, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. I had a chat with him about his cooking inspirations and here’s what he had to say.
Name? Doug Grigg
Where you work? Rumpus Cosy – Plymouth
Position? Head Chef
Hours worked in an average day? 15ish 8- 11
What does a typical day in your job look like? Breakfast service, lunch service, pre-theatre, then supper. It’s a busy day but the positives outweigh the negatives.
What do you love, most inspires you about what you do? I love the freedom to create and to plate up uniquely. The whole team at Rumpus Cosy are allowed their creativity. They are allowed to plate up in their own individual style on a plate. None of the plates match and it’s quite an eclectic English style. I am continually inspired by the passion of others around me.
Do you think your childhood and formative years have shaped your food philosophy? I believe so, yes. From a young age my mum and dad were always cooking and experimenting with food. My dad allowed me into the kitchen and really encouraged my food ethos. He would often take the whole family to a variety of different restaurants.
Earliest cooking memory? My earliest memory of cooking was probably when I was around 4 or 5 and made homemade burgers. It was with my mother or my father, I can’t remember exactly, but I still have that memory in my mind.
Which one person is your greatest food influence? Probably my father, he loves good food and really has a passion for it. He has collected over 400 cookery books and is always adding more. He really exposed me to different food experiences and took me to places which I never could have visited on my own. I do owe a lot of what I know to my dad.
Who is the one chef you would most like to cook for, and why? In all honesty I don’t think any chef would like to cook for another. It’s added pressure, similar cooking for friends. If I had to pick I would probably choose Marcus Wareing or Gordon Ramsay, mainly due to the fact that they would rip the dish apart and give me genuine criticism of my food.
Do you travel much? Does this impact the way you cook? I would love to travel more. When I was growing up I went to a different country every year, though back then I wasn’t much of an experimenter and didn’t try much new food. I did however watch. I talked to the natives of the countries I was in to understand what flavours and ingredients were in their traditional dishes. I can’t really say too much about the cuisines though. My most memorable food memory abroad was probably in Africa where I tried Zebra, crocodile, hippo, and a variety of other meats. That experience still lingers in my mind and crocodile is definitely my favourite meat.
Any particular ingredients that make you gag? Cinnamon. I’m not sure why, but I still cook with it and every time I do it makes me gag and feel quite sick!
If there was a burger called ‘The Doug Grigg’ what would be on it? It would probably be called a ‘Big Doug burger’ – Chicken breast cooked in Cajun spices, presented in a bun covered in mayonnaise, topped with bacon, blue cheese and cucumber. Quite spicy but evened out with the mayo and cucumber to cool it down.
Favourite record(s) to listen to when cooking? Maybe some James Brown? A bit of Reggaeton or even 80’s hits. Anything before my age it would seem!
Butter or olive oil? Clarified butter no doubt, or even smoked.
Chicken or steak? Probably steak, I assume you mean beef steak? Probably a fillet cut or a T Bone.
Wine or spirits? I love Vodka straight. Snow Queen organic vodka is outstanding. To cook with definitely a French wine.
Why did the chicken cross the road? To get to the other side?