When did you start at The Railway Inn?
I’ve been here for a couple of months. It’s such a lovely place, busy at times, and the quality of both the front of house and the kitchen is very good.
When did you first start cooking?
I started cooking a long time ago back at home in Portugal. I’ve been working hard in England for about nine years.
Where did you work before?
Before joining the team here, I worked at the Belgrave Sands Hotel in Torquay, the Richardson Hotel Group, the Berry Head Hotel and the Passage House Hotel in Kingsteignton – that is basically the story of my working life in England. I’ve enjoyed it and met some really nice people. And I’ve learnt quite a lot too.
What’s your style of cooking?
It’s a bit of everything these days, lots of different cultures. In England, we tend to cook continental style, mainly French and Spanish food. I really like Asian cuisine and I’m learning more about that. I’m also good at making curries.
What ingredients do you like working with in Devon?
I love that everything down here is basically local. There is a lot of really good seafood available. We’re very lucky.
What’s your favourite dish?
I like to cook a Portuguese dish called Arroz de Marisco. It’s a seafood risotto with lots of fish like clams, prawns, squid and then you finish it off with crab or lobster claws. We cook it in a pot, the same way you would a lamb tagine. It has a creamy tomato flavour.
What type of food do you like to eat at home?
A bit of everything! I like making Indian food – curries of any type and flavour. In general, I like British food. My wife is British and so we cook a mixture of food at home. I even make my own fish and chips.
Do you do the cooking at home?
It’s shared 50:50 with my wife, so I get a bit of a rest. I have two daughters, aged eight and 19 months, so we share cooking for the family.
What do you enjoy about your job?
I love cooking; it’s such a pleasure for me to do this job. I like to experience different flavours, spices and tastes. I’m always learning new things.
Customers are so important to me. You know that if you don’t serve them well, they won’t come back. As a chef, you have to make sure that the food you provide is of the highest quality.
Tell us about your time on MasterChef: The Professionals in the 2017 series?
The experience did not go very well for me! I was only included in the first episode and didn’t make it any further because I was really nervous. Things went a bit wrong and my nerves got the better of me. But I can guarantee one thing: I know I did really well to get on the show in the first place.