The Man Behind The Chef: Daniel Pearse

The Staff Canteen

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In the build up to The Staff Canteen Live 2016 – Skillery in association with Westlands and supported by the Craft Guild of Chefs at Hotelympia 2016, we are taking a closer look at the who will be joining us on stage - next up is Daniel Pearse.

Daniel Pearse grew up in a small village in Somerset where he quickly fell in love with cooking and pastry. daniel pearseAfter a few years at a local hotel, he moved to London to learn all that he could about pastry before moving back home, or so he thought.

Instead he got hooked and has been there ever since, first at Foliage at The Mandarin Oriental then under Claire Clark at The Langham then back to The Mandarin Oriental where he worked under Graham Hornigold.   

When Graham became executive pastry chef for Hakkasan Group, he asked Daniel to head up the pastry at Hakkasan’s two London restaurants, Mayfair and Hakkasan Hanway Place, where he creates light, refreshing desserts blending classic European techniques with oriental twists.

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

Would you rather order a starter or a pudding?

Most people would expect me to say a pudding because of my job but I crave savoury food so much especially after a long day at work so I’d have to say a starter.

What would your last meal be?

Roast rib of beef with Yorkshire puddings and all the trimmings followed by an apple crumble with custard and a nice bottle of red.

What was the last thing you ate?

My wife cooked me Moroccan lamb with pomegranate and fragrant Couscous for dinner tonight which was a nice surprise, but I had to do the washing up.

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


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

I’d be a film director; I’d love to make a movie.

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

French laundry.

Who is you celebrity crush?

Holly Willoughby.

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

Born to Bake.

What do you listen to in the kitchen?

A bit of everything to be honest, it depends who gets to the iPod dock first in the morning.

What are you most proud of?

Firstly my team, then everything that we have achieved together at Hakkasan in the past 5 years.

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

Thomas Keller's French Laundry.

Who would you trust to run your restaurant?

My team, they know it inside out and back to front. I trust them all 100%

Why did you choose to get involved with TSCLive?

I got involved with TSCLive because I believe that it’s a fantastic opportunity to inspire and share our knowledge as chefs with the next generation of upcoming enthusiastic cooks.

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

>>> Read more about The Staff Canteen Live 2016 at Hotelympia

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The Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 1st February 2016

The Man Behind The Chef: Daniel Pearse