Meet Gatherers co-founder Ashley Hancill
For those who don’t know, Ashley Hancill is our brilliant chef. He has a wealth of experience having served his apprenticeship at Claridges, he’s also worked with three iconic British chefs - Gary Rhodes, Marco Pierre White & Alastair Little.
His passion for quality ingredients is remarkable and his respect for provenance unrivaled.
With a ‘thing’ for cars and music, here he reveals his pet-hates, favorite tipple and what he might be doing if the chef thing didn't work out.
G: Please tell us when you decided you wanted to be a chef?
AH: I made mashed potato in a restaurant I was working in as a part-time waiter, it was the first thing I'd made from scratch. The next day I asked for a job in the kitchen and put myself through college.
G: If you weren’t doing this, what would your other ideal job be?
AH: Secondhand car salesman.
G: What is your favourite dish/drink to make at home for the family?
AH: Roast chicken.
G: What three tools of your trade could you not live without?
AH: Knives, timer, and temperature probe.
G: Can you tell us what gets you out of bed everyday?
AH: A cup of strong tea.
G: We’re buying, what’s your poison?
AH: A pot of chamomile and mint tea.
G: When feeling blue, what is your ultimate comfort food?
G: Any industry pet hates?
AH: People that think they are important, we are just serving a meal; that is all.
G: What should your industry be doing more of?
AH: Taking care of its staff.
G: What should it be doing less of?
AH: Mistaking the word ‘new’ for the word ‘better’.
G: What does the future look like for Gatherers?
AH: Exciting, it's always changing and evolving.
G: What is your edible guilty pleasure?
AH: Fish fingers.
G: Whom in the field should we be keeping an eye on?
AH: This won't help anyone else but I frequently go to my mum’s allotment to see what's growing, once you've grown something you change as a cook, you let Mother Nature take control.
G: If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?
AH: Prejudice and intolerance.
G: What is you passion outside of your profession?
G: What advice would you give your younger self?
AH: You'll always be working hard, there are no short cuts, get used to it.
G: What do you like doing on your day off?
AH: Go racing.
G: If we gave you these questions whom would you forward them to?
AH: Joyce Molyneux.
G: What ambitions do you have yet to achieve?
AH: Make gatherers an example of how to treat staff and enrich the world.
G: If you had to name one, who would you say was the most influential person in your career?
AH: No one, I made this mess all by myself.