PQ: What’s your food/wine philosophy?
NH: Fresh, local, organic, in that order. Using New World influences.
PQ: What’s the most important principle in cooking?
NH: Hard work, persistence, teaching yourself, keeping up to date on things. Not becoming complacent. Being adaptable.
PQ: What food/drink should people be more open to trying?
NH: Raw fish and raw meats.
PQ: Weirdest thing you’ve eaten?
NH: Raw pig’s blood on rice in Thailand in a Karen Chief’s hut.
PQ: Most memorable meal you’ve ever eaten?
NH: Two hours after eating the pig’s blood, our guides cooked us a 12-course meal by candlelight to the sound of elephants and the women pounding rice.
PQ: Exact moment you decided to become a chef?
NH: When I was 15 I was working part time as a prep cook and really enjoyed it. I also won a Christmas Cake competition and thought “hey, I’m pretty good at this.”
PQ: Most memorable meal you have ever served?
NH: Probably last summer. I did a fresh mackerel barbecue for my boss, friends and family.
PQ: What are the differences between being a chef in England and a chef in Whistler?
NH: Eating habits. There are a lot more allergies over here. There is a huge problem with transportation in Canada getting fresh ingredients.
PQ: What’s your solution for a last minute meal?
NH: Fresh pasta, parmesan cheese, black pepper and olive oil.
PQ: Greatest professional moment?
NH: Getting my job here at Aubergine Grill was really important for me.
PQ: Do you dream of opening your own restaurant?
NH: It’s my main dream.
PQ: Where would you go to eat, if you could go anywhere in the world?
NH: I’d have tapas on Las Ramblas in Barcelona.
PQ: How far have you traveled for a great meal?
NH: About 200 miles. I went to Rick Stein’s place in Padstow.
PQ: What brought you to Whistler?
NH: Quality of life. Everything I wanted was on my doorstep.
PQ: Where would you go for your last meal in Whistler?
NH: I would have Alex Stoll come cook for me and all my friends on the mountain.