An Interview with head chef- Dave Hands


What is your main role in the OMP Kitchen?

I am the main head chef for One Moorgate Place . I oversee all food production for hospitality and retail. This consists of everyday meals served at the One Moorgate Place café which includes hot foods, salads, lunch and pastries. On the hospitality side, I run the kitchen for large-scale events, conferences and buffets.

What made you become a chef and what previous experience do you have in kitchens?

By accident. I started as a kitchen porter at age 13. From there, I slowly progressed into different food sections. I completed a degree in Sports Science and gained a Masters in Sports Nutrition.

I moved to London and found a temp role. For the next 6 years, I progressed quickly in the kitchen. During this time, I was fortunate to be mentored by a very focused, passionate and influential head –chef who brought out my passion for food.

How would you describe your cooking style and what are your influences?

I would say Modern British. I am influenced my independent chains where I get ideas from. I’m also a massive fan of Asian cuisine. It was through my travels to Asia, I discovered how stimulated I was by Asian technique, cooking style and use of fresh ingredients.

What does a mid-week meal look like for you?

Usually I work till quite late. I used to spend a lot of time cooking, but these days I spend more time at work in the evenings than at home! I do like cooking pasta dishes but my main focus is cooking for others.

Who would your dream dinner guests be and what would you cook for them?

I have no one in particular. For me the most important thing would be to cook for people who appreciate food and consider the time and technique it takes to produce an outstanding dish. If I had to decide what to cook, it would have to be street food. I love cooking fried Chicken and use 5 to 6 flours to get it just right!

What would you say is your inspiration?

I would say Tommy banks. I really like his ethos of cooking. He is a real advocate for localised farming and has a simple but refined attitude to cooking.

How involved are you with regards to the design of the menu?

I am involved in everything. In recent months, I have been developing the menu single-handily as there was no exec chef but I try and get as much influence from the team as possible.

When are you happiest at work?

I’m generally pretty happy. The only time I really get stressed out is when something is out of my control or sudden change. I really enjoy service, particularly for larger events.

What is your  favourite comfort food?

I really like pasties, fried Chicken and surprisingly, Haribo Sourz!

What restaurant did he last eat at?

I went to Corner stone- Hackney which is a small fish restaurant Its amazing!


Thank you, Dave Hands for your insightful interview!