As we eagerly wait for Head Chef Kerth Gumbs to be back on our screens during the Great British Menu finals, we caught up with him and asked him 10 questions about his life and career so far...
What was your first job?
My first job was back home on my island, which is called Anguilla. My best friend and I opened our own pizzeria at the age of 16.
Why did you choose to become a chef?
When I was in high school, I had a choice of studying auto mechanics, woodwork or food nutrition. The first two topics did not appeal to me and to be frank, I didn’t particularly like getting dirty either. So, I thought that if I chose food nutrition, at least I would get to eat what I’d made! I guess it wasn’t your typical chef career start...
Can you remember your very first shift in a kitchen?
Yes, quite vividly! I was totally nervous just looking at all the burning flames constantly. I also remembered been sent to the fridge for chervil and couldn’t tell the different between parsley, dill or any other herbs for that matter. I just bunched them all up together and brought them to the chef!
What is your guiltiest food pleasure?
Probably a cheeky goat curry or stewed ox tail, with dumplings and fried Johnny cakes – my partner has been perfecting her recipe so every Sunday I look forward to tasting them.
If you weren’t a chef, what would you do?
I was heavily involved in track and field at school, so I would most likely be an athlete. I also love dancing, so that could be an option too!
What’s the oddest thing a customer has said to you?
There once was a guest who praised me on the food she had just had. She said she was a vegetarian but loved the crab risotto… that was slightly confusing!
Describe your cooking style in three words
Fresh, vibrant, abstract
If you could cook for anyone in the world who would you pick, and why?
Definitely Celine Dion! Her voice and music with my food and company, oh my!
What’s your earliest food memory?
Tasting cake batter from my mum’s rum cake spoons!
If you could only eat at one restaurant for the rest of your life, where would you choose?
It would probably not be a restaurant as such, but rather street food in Thailand. It is great, humble, tasty and affordable.
You can enjoy Kerth's dishes with our exclusive Gift Vouchers, valid as soon as Ormer reopens, for one year. This 6-course tasting menu includes two cocktails and all the dishes he cooked in the competition... More information here!