Meet 33-year-old Matthew Stephenson from Consett who is the executive chef at Mr Petit, in Newcastle.
I always wanted to be a chef but … wasn’t really the best student at school, or college, so I decided to try and get into it a different way and got myself a job as an apprentice butcher. Then I moved into professional kitchens, with a lot more knowledge of the meat preparation side of things. From there, I worked my way up from a kitchen porter to where I am now.
We offer … a range of tapas style dishes from around the world at Mr Petit, with at least three options from each continent.
We’ve launched a new lunch menu … and we’re keeping the number of dishes relatively the same as before, but have started to offer a sandwich menu through the day as well. So you can have an option of world cuisine for your lunch or a sarnie if you’re on the go. We also have a large outside area that we’ll be looking to get the most out of when the weather gets better, giving us a proper European cafe feel and vibe.
I can’t get enough of … a new dish on the menu. It’s an African-spiced fishcake that is made with sweet potato, lime and coriander. We garnish it with a chilli and mango salsa and a house fermented hot sauce. I still enjoy some of the more popular dishes from our launch menu too, like the Cajun-cured salmon with dill pickles and a pomegranate and watercress salad.
If I was hosting my dream party … I would invite Pierre Koffman because you have to have some sort of culinary legend, don’t you? And Sir John Hall, as I’m a massive Newcastle United fan.
I really want to go to … Restaurant Story & Dinner By Heston in London, but more than anything I need to go to New York to eat at a Korean restaurant called Jungsik.