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June 27, 2023

What was your first industry job?
In Lithuania at a restaurant called Albi, with very traditional Lithuanian food that had fusion influences. I started baking there as an after-school job. When I moved to London I worked at Le Pain Quotidien (while learning English) and stayed there for four years, eventually moving up the hierarchy to second in command.

If you weren’t in kitchens, what would you do?
Something creative – an artist or photographer. During lockdown I created my own jewellery brand.

What industry figure do you most admire, and why?
Gary Foulkes – he is a great mentor, always pushing to the next level! And Gordon Ramsay.

Pet hate in the kitchen?
Arrogance – it’s the complete opposite of hospitality.

What’s the oddest thing a customer has said to you?
Mostly they assume I am from England, but I am proud to be from Lithuania

Sum up your cooking style in a single sentence…
It’s all about amazing produce, treated with care and respect.

What’s the worst review you’ve ever had?
When a guest said that a dish was over-seasoned, but actually they had a very sensitive palate.

What advice would you give someone starting out in the industry?
Respect every level you are a chef, whether you are a commis or head chef – the way you treat the produce is key. A positive attitude goes a long way.

Which single item of kitchen equipment could you not live without?

What would you choose to eat for your last meal?
It depends what season I am dying. If summer then cacao ice cream; if it’s winter, mushroom ravioli.

À la carte or tasting menu?
Tasting menu – love the journey of food!

What’s the best meal you’ve ever had in a restaurant?
Kitchen W8 in Kensington.

Favourite fast food joint?
Love a Chinese.

What’s the dish you wish you’d thought of?
Beef Wellington.

Most overrated food?

Restaurant dictator for a day – what would you ban?
Picky eaters.

Who would your dream dinner party guests be?
Gordon Ramsay, Gary Foulkes, Tom Peters (executive chef, Gracy’s in Malta), and Tomas Lidakevicius (chef patron, Turnips in Borough).

Twitter or Instagram?

What’s the closest you’ve ever come to death?
Tried sky-diving – I felt like I was going to die for a second, then it was the best experience ever.

Tipple of choice?
Chilled white wine.

What do you consider your signature dish?
Hand-picked Devon crab with hass avocado, wasabi and finger lime.

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