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All the best: Chef Derek Patterson's favourite things

By Kerry McKittrick

Published 15/08/2016

Chef Derek Patterson
Chef Derek Patterson

The 51-year-old is the chef and part-owner of the Plough Group of restaurants which includes The Plough Inn, Simply Seafood and The Tannery. He lives in Hillsborough with wife Pamela and their four children.

My best moment

Cooking has been my passion all my life so my best moments are when I get to work with renowned chefs. I've just spent the weekend in Dublin working with one of the best chefs in the world, Andre de Luca, who is known as the king of the fire pit. I love exchanging knowledge with people at the top of the profession.

My best song

I really like the Police song Walking On The Moon. It appreciates the high moments in life - so often life tries to bring you down so you should celebrate those moments when you feel at the top.

My best way to relax

I love it when I have as much of my family round me as possible on a nice day and we have some great food outside - the kind of gathering that takes all day.

On the other hand I'm a bit of an adrenaline freak so I enjoy sports like motorcross, horse-riding, skiing and water-skiing.

My best job

I really like creating new things which is one of the reasons I really enjoy working with food. Recently, I created the Vintage Rooms, the only lounge bar experience in Hillsborough, and that project was my own thought process, my own design and my own experiment with colours and textures. I always need to be on the go and creating something different.

My best bit of advice

That would be, 'if you don't know where you're going, you don't know where you'll end up'. It was Professor Frank Pantridge, the man who invented the defibrillator who told me that. He became a regular at the Plough in his later years and we struck up a friendship.

My best movie

Man On Fire with Denzel Washington. It's full of twists the whole way through - I hate films that are all action but the hero always lives at the end.

You really don't know what will happen at the end of this film.

My best gift

I met and became friends with the artist Neil Shawcross. It's through Neil that I've grown an appreciation of art.

It all started when I visited his studio and he gave me one of his works to take home with me.

My best achievement

Travelling the world for 10 years, learning about food. It created a vision to where I wanted to go in my life. I went to work in Switzerland when I was just 17 and learned things there that are still far ahead of the game here.

My best buy

The engagement ring for my wife all those years ago.

My best book

I'm dyslexic so I don't read novels. For me it's food books, so I like the Hawksmore at Home, Neil Rankin's Low and Slow and Andre de Luca's King of Fire.

I also like Gordon Ramsay's In Pursuit Of Perfection

For more information on the Plough Group restaurants go to

Belfast Telegraph

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