Through The Hotplate With Ben Churchill

Chef Ben Churchill Is The Food Illusionist, Ben posts videos on social media and is getting over 40,000 views per clip.  Below is only just a taste of what Ben can do!
Q:  Describe your Job?

B:  Creating next level desserts and pushing the boundaries of perception and what can be done with food for my facebook page

Q:  What advice do you have for young chefs?

B:  My advice for young chefs,  always question and never think you can’t do something.  I taught myself everything I know, and I believe this has given me the freedom to create whatever I want.  No deep set rules, no “you can’t make this that way”.  I usually think of my end result first, then work out how I’m going to get there.  Basically, don’t let yourself get boxed in with rules.

Q:  What made you want to be a chef?

B:  I fell into cheffing by accident.  I’d just dropped out of Art College with no direction and a friend of mine suggested I take on his job in my local pub kitchen (he was going travelling). It was a quiet, simple omelettes, pub classics type of place. The place then got a refurb and a new head chef and we were suddenly cooking proper food and lots of it! It gave me a desire to learn and cook.  I still remember the first thing I taught myself to cook at home; risotto.  It was awful at first, but I kept on trying. Since then I’ve been moving from place to place, teaching myself and absorbing.  With regards to my desserts, I started teaching myself 18 months ago as the pastry was something I’d never explored.  One day I had an idea to make a lemon that looks real but is made out of chocolate and filled with lemon sauce.  It was a very crude affair but gave me the thirst to keep exploring food illusions and seeing how far I could go.

Q: What’s the most important part of your job?

B:  Inspiring.

Q:  Most enjoyable?

B:  Everything is enjoyable. From the development of building up an idea, to the trial and error, to seeing the finished dish, and seeing people’s reactions.

Q:  Hardest?

B:  The hardest part is when you just can’t make an idea work and have to abandon it. I’ve had a couple of those and it really leaves you deflated.

Q:  What is your favourite ingredient?

B:  My favourite ingredient changes weekly. Recently it was a lemon balm. I’m a big fan of using herbs in desserts, especially rosemary, thyme, unexpected flavours.

Q:  Favourite dish?

B:  My all time favourite has got to be the iron throne. It was one of my early ideas and has taken a year to refine. A chocolate sponge sprayed with lustre and filled with strawberry coulis styled like the iron throne from Game of Thrones.

Q: Where does inspiration come from?

B:  Inspiration can come from anywhere…nature, TV, computer games, my imagination.

Q: Plans for the future?

B:   For the future, I’ve written my first book; part recipe book, part coffee table book, part inspiration. I’m just now exploring publishing avenues, looking for a publisher to pick it up

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