What’s been your best food experience?
For my 40th I went to the hotel Luna Baglioni in Venice. It was truly an experience never matched before or since, the ambience, food and service were higher than the highest thing I can imagine. A must for a connoisseur of fine dining and hotel luxury (don’t forget your fat wallet).
Who would you love to serve in your shop?
The late, great Sir Bobby Robson, he was always a pleasure to serve. A true gentleman. He once said to me: “Young man, that was the best bit of cod I’ve ever had.” I didn’t dare tell him it was haddock (we don’t sell cod).
If money was no object, what would you buy for your business?
Planning permission for another 300 seats.
Spitfire by John Nichol. What a read, I cried reading about the sacrifice and gallantry of our grandfathers. And the ever-evolving role of that iconic plane.
What item will you not leave for work without?
Clean uniform and my iPad. The iPad is a great tool for keeping your work’s paper trail in order.
Favourite fish and chip shop?
Colman’s of South Shields. A truly professional set up, I was lucky enough to be shown around by Richard Ord. I watched intently as the friers worked like ants on Lucozade, each knowing exactly his role and the job in hand. Well done guys.
What do you do on your days off?
I am a level 2 cricket coach, I train juniors on my day off then manage a team when I finish work. I love a game of golf and like to get away altogether by going fishing on my lonesome in summer. If it’s with my better half, we like to go away for a night in the country.
What would you name your boat if you had one?
It would have to be the Chipping Fin, a nice cruiser that sleeps six. I’m lucky to be invited annually to a friend’s boat in Majorca, four days with the boys, some proper R&R.
What’s the most useless talent you have?
I’m one of those that puts frying lyrics to all songs, new and old. I can picture us creating a tune, all proceeds to The Fishermen’s Mission. How about it?
What is the dumbest way you’ve been injured?
Trimming a bonsai tree! Holding the twig in question, the tip of the scissors wasn’t doing the trick so I moved the blades downward, cutting straight through the twig as the blades snapped closed. Alas, I hadn’t moved my finger. It was half an hour before my shift! I got a chemist to stop the bleeding, worked my eight-hour shift then went to A&E until 5am.
What quote or saying do people spout but is complete BS?
“Yes, I’ve done all my cleaning jobs,” or “I’m poorly, can’t get out of bed.”
If you had a theme song, what would it be?
Return of The Los Palmas 7 by Madness.
What do you miss most about being a kid?
Not having a care in the world, thinking which tree should I carve my name at the top of, or do I go to the games arcade and hang out?
The house is on fire, but everyone is safely out and all wallets/cash are saved. If you could make one last dash to get something, what would it be?
It would have to be a water colour of my parents. My mother’s hitting dad with a fish as he fries holding a snooker cue.
If you could change three things about your country, what would you change?
I would bring back National Service, allow teachers and police to discipline and bring back capital punishment if guilty beyond any doubt for murder.
Who is the most impressive famous person alive today?
The Queen. She has to put up with so much s*!t. Yet she always holds her head up high, representing our still Great Britain.
Do you have any ridiculous goals in life?
A management buyout! No, seriously I’m going to win the lottery, buy a villa or two, invest the money for a year then pay off my close friends’ mortgages so they have excess money to spend and holiday with. I would also set up a rota system for my staff to use the villas free of charge. Life is for living.
What food combination do you want to ban?
Pie in a bread cake. Two of my staff have done this on numerous occasions. It’s just not right!