Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 20 November 2014

Friday People: David Gillmore

David Gillmore
David Gillmore

MY WIFE RACHEL

Rachel and I met in Chester, in England, about seven years ago. She was at Chester University and was a part-time waitress at the hotel I worked at. We got married at the Culloden Hotel a year ago.

Rachel works as a receptionist for a veterinary practice. I've been a chef the whole time we've been together, so Rachel is used to my odd hours. People say when you meet the right person you just know, and that's the way it was for us.

MY PARENTS, LYNNE AND FRED

My mum works as a community nurse and my dad is retired now, but worked as an engineer for Hotpoint. Dad remarried a while ago to Maureen, and when he retired from fixing washing machines for a company, he decided he was retired from fixing washing machines for the family too.

I'm the youngest of the family, so I have a brother called Gareth who is an electrician and a sister called Joanne, who works for a building society.

I've wanted to be a chef since I was in school, so my parents have always been supportive of my career choice.

We are still close and I speak to them every week.

MY BEST FRIEND, GARETH JONES

Gareth and I've worked with each other since we were about 20. We've come up through kitchens together and he was the best man at my wedding.

He's a chef at a restaurant in Manchester called Mr Cooper's House and Garden.

It does help having a best friend who understands what I do – when you're in this industry all of your friends tend to be in it too, because of the unusual hours.

WHO I GO TO FOR ADVICE, RACHEL

It's natural that I go to Rachel for advice – she's my best friend as well as my wife. I have to say that I'm the sensible one out of the two of us, though.

MY MENTOR, SIMON RADLEY

I worked for Simon at the Chester Grosvenor Hotel – where he's the executive chef – for the first time, when I was 18.

He's there in terms of someone to turn to for advice.

He was the person I went to before I applied to James Street South.

He's never particularly enthusiastic, but if he doesn't advise you against something, then that's his way of saying it's a good idea.

My secret crush is ... Emilia Fox

I've always liked her, because she stars in my favourite TV programme Silent Witness.

MY FANTASY DINNER PARTY

Mr Happy from the Mr Men would be on my guest list – my nickname is Mr Happy because of the film Happy Gilmore, and I get called it quite a lot.

Next, I would ask my grandad on my father's side.

He died before I was born and I was always close to my other grandparents, so it would be nice to get to know him.

I'm a big football fan so I'd also ask Paul Gascoigne – the one from the 1990 World Cup days, as he was my idol when I was younger, but not so much now.

Finally, I'd invite Marco Pierre White, who could do the cooking too.

He's still a huge influence over British food, even though he hasn't actually cooked in restaurants in a long time.

James Street South is located at 21 James Street South, Belfast BT2 7GA. For details and reservations, visit www.jamesstreetsouth.co.uk or tel: 028 9043 4310

Interview: Kerry McKittrick

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