The man behind the chef: David Colcombe

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In the build up to The Staff Canteen Live 2015 at the Hospitality Show 2015, NEC Birmingham on January 19 – 21, 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!

Copyright Images of Birmingham Photo Library

David Colcombe is chef director at Opus at Cornwall Street, Birmingham. The 48-year-old from Chelmsley Wood is committed to using good, seasonal produce and changes his menu daily. He will be joining us at the NEC for the 2015 Hospitality Show.

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

What made you want to be a part of The Staff Canteen Live?

Well, I know about all of your stuff. It’s professional and very good in the industry. We’re all at the top of our game and it’s good to be involved - I’m an old man at this now! I’ve judged competitions with Gary Jones and I know other guys who are going to be there. We’ve all got quality CV’s but you can never turn down an opportunity to promote your restaurant. We’re not in competition, we’re all in it together so it’s fantastic that The Staff Canteen gives us this sort of platform. It’s good that it’s in Birmingham too, good for the area.

What do you do in your spare time?

What spare time’s that then? We all try to relax and share moments with our friends. We all like to travel and try different restaurants. That’s what our industry’s given us: it’s a vocation, not a job. It is difficult to get spare time though, it’s not like we can go to watch football every weekend. It’s non-stop.

What’s one thing you could tell us nobody else will know?

I never thought I’d come back to Birmingham. I left to go to London when I was 18 but here I am.

What’s the last album that you bought?

My son downloads everything onto my computer and I just listen to that really. He’s in London doing a degree in song-writing and I’m very proud of him. He’s a music fanatic so when he comes back he normally downloads a lot of music for me. Recently I’ve been listening to Jamie Cullum.

Chocolate or cheese?


Marco or Gordon?

Marco. Well, the Marco of twenty years ago, White Heat is the best book of all time.

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

What’s your worst injury or cut?

I’ve witnessed a bad scalding after somebody spilt hot stock onto their legs but I’ve been quite lucky myself.

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

I would have loved to be a sports journalist.

David will be joining us at 15:30 on Tuesday, January 20, for The Staff Canteen Live 2015. This excellent event is a must for any food-lover.

By Tom Evans

The Hospitality Show takes place at the NEC Birmingham from January 19-21, 2015. Registration for the show is open now at:  

>>> Read more from The Staff Canteen Live 2015 at The Hospitality Show here

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 13th November 2014

The man behind the chef: David Colcombe