The Man Behind The Chef: Graham Garrett

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 20th January 2016

In association with

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In the build up to The Staff Canteen Live 2016 - Skillery supported by the Craft Guild of Chefs at Hotelympia 2016, we are taking a closer look at the chefs who will be joining us on stage. We dig a little deeper to find out what they are hiding under those chef whites - next up is Graham Garrett. Graham Garrett 2 ©Adrian Franklin low res

Graham Garrett is the owner and head chef of his own restaurant, The West House in Biddenden, Kent which opened in 2002. The restaurant is set in a fifteenth-century weaver’s cottage and specialises in making the best use of seasonal ingredients.

Graham was the drummer for 80's bands Ya Ya and Dumb Blondes before pursuing a career in food at 31 years-of-age. The West House earned its first Michelin star in 2004 and has kept it ever since. It has also achieved the highest rating for its food in the Harden’s Guide.

>>> Read more in the Behind The Chef series here

What is an ex rock musician doing as a chef?

"Well it’s the question everybody asks."

Isn’t it the other way round you want to be a chef and then become a rock star?

"It was weird, obviously I always wanted to be a rock star I was always into music and that was my main passion, it was what I always done but in the real world you've got to get a job."

But cooking was always your passion.

"Cooking and music were the passions, cooking was a hobby and when leaving school,  I told the career’s officer that I wanted to be a rock star,I got the cane. I wanted to go into catering but at the time there was a real stigma to it. My dad was like, 'What do you want to do that for?' his classic line was, “Don’t you like girls?” Boys don’t cook. But I then went into butchery strangely enough."

At The Staff Canteen we want to see what makes chefs tick. We asked Graham a few questions about what he gets up to when not in the kitchen:

Would you rather order a starter or a pudding?


What would your last meal be?

"Pie, mash and liquor."

What was the last thing you ate?

"My bodyweight in peanuts."

If you weren’t a chef what would you be?

"A drummer."

If you could choose to dine in any restaurant in the world which would you choose?

"Have done most already but quite fancy Frances Mallmann and Siete Fuegos."

Who is you celebrity crush?

"Ainsley Harriott."

If someone was to write your biography what would it be called?

"Sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll."

What do you listen to in the kitchen?

"My Mrs moaning."

What are you most proud of?

"Currently I would have to say my new boy."

If you could own another chef’s restaurant whose would you choose?

"Dan Barber."

Who would you trust to run your restaurant?

"Richard Corrigan."

Why did you choose to get involved in the Staff Canteen Live?

"Because I find it difficult to say no!"

Graham will be doing a book signing after his demonstration, see some of the recipes from his book, Sex, Drugs & Sausage Rolls by clicking on his profile >>>>

Visitors can go to and register now for a free ticket to the show.

>>> Read more from The Staff Canteen Live 2016 at Hotelympia here     

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 20th January 2016

The Man Behind The Chef: Graham Garrett