Hayley Wilkes

Hayley Wilkes

Occupation: Self Employed Chef at

WeeCOOK Professional Chef Services and Resident chef at the monthly Angus Farmers Market.

1. Name 2 of your “food heroes” and tell us why they inspire you?

Rick Stein because, I love seafood and we live on an island surrounded by the sea. I’ve been to Padstow to his take away, pub and restaurant. Everything is as he states. ‘Fresh fish simply cooked’. You don’t need to be a Michelin, fine dining or award winning chef to cook and be successful. Having the desire, passion and ability or skills to know what to do with ingredients and produce tasty edible food is just as important.

Jamie Oliver. Not only opening the eyes of the world to the now infamous ‘turkey twizzlers’ that we were feeding our children in Schools but because he has one of the best ways of encouraging people to cook. His recipe books are easy to follow, the techniques are Italian inspired methods that have been passed on from generation to generation for hundreds of years. He inspirers the general public to care about ingredients and enables them to educate themselves about the food they buy and prepare in their own homes.

2. What do you like to cook and why?

Fish, shellfish & game because I grew up on the coast of North Wales. It’s great cooking with ingredients that are native, often in abundance and that I have been familiar with since childhood.

3. When did you decide to become a chef?

When I was 13 I worked in a café and local hotel.

4. What do you remember about School dinners?

Making Pac-Man out of the round SPAM slices, chalky fish cakes, over cooked sliced green beans, pink lumpy custard, bland rice pudding, semolina!!!... and getting into trouble because the dinner lady told my mum I wasn’t eating my school dinners!

5. What was your favourite school dinner?

Brown fish fingers & chips, the chocolate sponge was nice too if you got a crispy edge bit.

6. What would be your perfect meal?

Loads of friends & family on a huge table with loads of different dishes and drinks to help themselves too. A bit like a banquet the Gauls have at the end of each Asterix story book! A spit roast wild boar would be a bonus!

7. What kitchen tool could you NOT live without?

My fish slice.

8. In your restaurant or premises who would be your ideal diner?

Leigh Halfpenny the Welsh 6 Nations rugby player….he’s a solid guy who I would imagine has a great appetite. I think he would attract lots of other diners in too !

9. If you weren't a chef what would you be?

Teacher or an Archaeologist

10. Where do you go when you want to eat at a restaurant?

At the moment my favourite is the Hanoi bicycle shop in Glasgow for amazing Vietnamese inspired dishes!

11. What 5 ingredients would you choose to have on your desert Island?

Strong flour, yeast, salt, olive oil and water. Boring but practical