My main inspiration is the locality of my ingredients. Being in rural Shropshire I have an amazing set of suppliers around me, from Alfie my veg man to the local farm shops surrounding the town. There are some incredible ingredients out there to create dishes with simple, clean, beautiful flavours.
I like my food style to be simple in ingredients but precise in execution. Choosing only a few key ingredients is what works best for me. My dish for Chefs of Tomorrow only has 4 ingredients, but cooked properly and with care and attention I think that’s all you need to bring across my passion for food.
Being in the middle of the country and having no sea around me, ingredients such as fish and seafood are very hard to come by locally. There is a local trout fishery that do incredible smoked fish, but in terms of seafood I do have to source it from the best possible place and I’ll always make sure it’s fresh and sustainable. Pairing that with the local farm shops, and local veg suppliers I find to be the best way to look after my own county as much I can - whilst still getting the quality of the ingredients that I want.
If I only had half an hour, my dish would probably consist of a ceviche, maybe of mackerel. Paired with a beautiful caraway crispbread. Or even a tartare of halibut. Two ideas that would give clean, sharp flavours.
RACHEL KARASIK, London
I can't remember a time I wasn't interested in food. I grew up watching cookery shows, went to cooking camp when I was ten, and started collecting cookbooks and experimenting in my family's kitchen around the same time.
I'm American, so grew up watching Julia Child and Jacques Pépin - I love their relaxed approach to cooking and when I was little, was fascinated by the traditional French dishes they cooked. When I was 11 I even queued up at a book signing of Jacques Pépin's autobiography and had a chat with him and was completely star struck - I was the youngest person there by a good 20 years! As I started to cook more seriously in my late teens though, I read a book on the history of Chez Panisse and Alice Waters' approach to food - simple, and seasonal yet exciting all the same - and it really resonated with me and it's an ethos I still try to hold onto.
On top of that, all the people I've cooked with over the last couple of years have been major influences and inspirations, and have taught me a huge amount - especially Alan Stewart in London, and Sharone Yaron-Corr in New York.
My mom is also an inspiration, since she's the one that started it all, and my dad for all those Saturday morning pancake making sessions.
I'm drawn to Mediterranean and middle-eastern flavors so love using things like preserved lemons, pomegranate molasses, sumac. I also have a mild obsession with cinnamon - standard I know, but so versatile, especially in savory dishes.
My favourite cooking utensil… It's a toss up between my Le Creuset rubber spatula, a really sturdy whisk, and my mandolin (although that last one doesn't always like me…).
Rachel's preserved lemons.
JULIEN PICKERGILL, House of Commons, London
Who inspires me; it's going to have to be my mum. She is a fantastic cook. She was an inspiration, cooking adventurous recipes from around the world.
Favourite ingredient is butter. Growing up in France, butter played a big part of my childhood. Pure good butter is a simple ingredient that can change not only taste, but appearance and texture.
I love watching people eat and enjoy my food. The feed back you get, the smiles you create…
I look up to a lot of chefs. Each chef brings something different to the table. That's the beauty of cooking. Every culture inspires me. Chefs like Raymond Blanc, Thomas Keller, Tom Sellers, Corey Lee, Andoni Luis Aduriza and many more.
I don't know if this counts, but my favourite cooking utensil has to be my tasting spoon. A Quote from Sat Bains "Seasoning is a true skill so taste, taste and taste again".
NATHAN BERE, Petersham Nurseries, London
Balancing the best and locally sourced ingredients for my dish was easy because we have lots of great stuff growing in and around Petersham Nurseries - in this case the bay leaves, thyme, chives and wild garlic. Also we have extremely good suppliers in HG Walters, Natoora & mash respectively, ensuring products are of the highest standard.
Well if it wasn't for Jamie Oliver I wouldn't be a chef today. About 6 years ago I was given his book (Ministry of Food) as a gift for Christmas and couldn't put it down. I was cooking something new every single day. Shortly after I had a career change and became a chef. So yeah, thanks to Jamie Oliver!
I really like what Nathan Outlaw is doing. Keeping it simple, clean, letting the food speak for itself producing some knockout dishes. I also love the food we are doing under Damian at Petersham. Very inspiring!
For my dream dinner party, I would invite 2 of my 1st head chefs Dominic Barham & Paul Brown so they could see how far I've come & where I'm at now. I would invite Jimi Hendrix, Keith Floyd, David Beckham & John Lennon
Recently Nathan was on holiday in Italy - here are some images of food that he found inspiring.