"I started working in kitchens when I was 12, washing up, saw the chefs and just loved what they did and was determined to do that."
Who is Tom Haste?
I am just a guy who wanted to be a chef. I started working in kitchens when I was 12, washing up, saw the chefs and just loved what they did and was determined to do that. School went out of the window and I dedicated all my time and effort to becoming a chef. I love the creative side of it.
"I like to try and push boundaries."
What makes your practices and style disruptive?
I don't like to follow the rules and traditions. Some things I do are conventional, but I also like to go outside the box and showcase local produce. I like to try and push boundaries.
Describe your most consistent sources of disruptive inspiration
Music, I love music, especially Fleetwood Mac and Johnny Cash, but the biggest inspiration in my career is my old boss/mentor Roy Brett of Ondine in Edinburgh. He serves amazing food and has, and continues to be, a huge inspiration on my food and career.
"...I like to think that food is a great way of bringing people and communities together..."
How do you think your work connects with people and communities?
Locals and regulars, which we have a lot of. It is great to hear their feedback and have a rapport with them. Also, I like to think that food is a great way of bringing people and communities together, it is the one thing that can bring people together around a table and really make them get along. I try to put a menu together that can do that.
How do you balance being commercial with authenticity?
This one is tough as it is a business after all, but I find that you should stick to what you believe in. People are happy to pay for a quality product, but it does have to be good.
"...the public are more aware of good and local produce and appreciate a good product..."
Since you started your career, what has been the biggest change to your industry and what changes do you see happening?
Chefs get a life these days, the hours are better and, with that, hopefully, the wages will get better. Also, the public are more aware of good and local produce and appreciate a good product, which is great. I think this will just continue to grow, which I love.
What’s the hardest personal challenge you’ve had to overcome?
Depression and mental illness, which is something I still have to fight against, but I am getting there, and I am determined to beat it.
"I would like to get into teaching people about the joys and importance of using local products."
What are you currently working on?
I am currently working on creating a menu that showcases the best of local and British produce. I would like to get into teaching people about the joys and importance of using local products.
I am also trying to get a yearly event going to raise awareness and support for people within the industry suffering from depression and mental illness, as I think this needs to be done.
All interviews are directly penned by the disrupters.
Edited by Maria Micu
CONTACT TOMWebsite: www.theladyottoline.net