S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2015 - Meet Mentor Ryan Clift

An interview with chef Ryan Clift, one of the mentors taking part in the S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2015 Grand Final in Milan.

Ryan Clift is the chef of The Tippling Club in Singapore and is one of the most exciting chefs in the region today.

The Tippling Club is a place that pairs food and cocktails with a dedication unmatched by any other restaurant in the world and a place where the texture and flavour of ingredients is coaxed, moulded, changed, shaped and served with all mix of modern techniques.

He’s describes his own style as “fine dining without the snobbery” and the success of The Tippling Club shows just who much demand there now is for high end dining packaged in informal settings.

Since opening the Tippling Club the chef has also opened Ding Dong, Open Door Policy and Open Farm Community - a former golf driving range that the chef has helped turn into a gardening project, something that’s very rare in Singapore, a place where at least 80% of ingredients are imported.

Clift is a busy man but among all these projects he’s managed to find time to act as a mentor for the S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2015, helping Kirk Westaway from the JAAN restaurant perfect his dish of Chinese artichoke with barley risotto for the Grand Final event on June 26th.

We caught up with Clift to find out more about this role, his own career as a young chef and exactly what he’s been helping his mentee.

Who was your most important mentor for your profession and why? 
Andrew Offland, he was my cooking school teacher, he was the guy that really taught me what it was to be a chef and set my on the path i have taken.

What’s the best advice you were ever given when you were training?
Never take no for an answer.

Do you remember one of the big mistakes you made in a kitchen when you were training?
Worst mistake i ever made was sleeping in past my alarm, when i arrived to the kitchen the chef didn’t say any thing to me all day but at the end of the service when the last plate was served he asked all the chefs to leave there section and go home as i was going break the whole kitchen down by my self, i was there till 6 in the morning then had to start at 7, not pleasant. 

Is there one mistake you see young chefs making very often? 
Young chefs today seem to be more interested in there fu$@ing social lives & how much they get payed, they need to realise thats not the industry they have chosen to work in.

What are the best characteristics a young chef can have, nowadays? 
Positive mental attitude, passion and loyalty.

What are the worst? 
Reverse of the above.

What’s your main focus in advising the S.Pellegrino Young Chef candidate of your region? 
Kirk is already a very talented young chef, and i have complete faith in his ability to rock it out the park, I’m just going to be pushing him that little extra mile and making sure he wins!

What’s your message to all the finalists of S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2015 worldwide? 
Just remember that even to get this far in the comp is a massive achievement and even if you don’t win you should be very proud of yourself.

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