Joseph Robinson Q&A

You’re a chef and an artist, are the two linked? 
Yes. Cooking is a balance of lots of things, the same as in art, you have many elements, many possibilities, and many techniques. You find ways to apply them in a perfect balance.

What have you been up to most recently?
Pop up dinners in village halls, private party events, set dinners with Wild Artichokes in Kingsbridge.

Any memorable food experiences that had an impact on you as a child or as a young chef?
Working on farmers’ and street markets, learning that a good product starts with a good person. It’s all about love and passion. You can taste it in the food. When I was working butchering venison in London, I went to a guy selling potatoes and did a trade, a steak for some spuds. He asked me what I wanted to cook and recommended me the best potato for the dish. He had a massive wealth of knowledge about his product and his enthusiasm was amazing. That’s a beautiful thing!

Any memories of the first time you ate / cooked crab?
First time I ate crab: I could get used to this.
First time cooked crab: definitely get someone else to cook it!

What’s your favourite way to eat crab?
White meat: Soda bread, mayo and lemon 
Brown meat: courchamps sauce with celeriac and apple 
Shells: bisque

Any amusing tales to tell involving crabs?
I was victorious against one in a medieval jousting duel.

Tell us more…
On the underside of the crab belly is a small flap where it’s very soft, with a chop stick you skewer though this part and it kills the crab. One time I did this and as I went to put pressure downwards the crab grabbed the chop stick with its claw and I had to take another one and dispatch it pronto!

When did you know you wanted to become a chef?
You don’t really have a choice in the matter... it becomes you.

Most important decision you’ve made during your career?
Keep going.

Any unfulfilled ambitions?
To make and eat Volaille de bresse en vessie au Riesling. It is as an old Paul bocouse recipe (he is a French culinary ledgend who just passed away) - it’s a chicken cooked in a pigs bladder with wine so it is super soft and tender! It sounds like the bomb.

What keeps you motivated?
The possibly of what could be.
Tell us something fun / surprising about yourself that we may not know…
I love a good steam train.

Last restaurant you ate at?
The Seahorse in Dartmouth

Last thing you cooked for yourself?
Parmesan omelette.

Most unusual thing you’ve ever eaten?
Deep fried jelly fish. 
Favourite ingredients / kitchen gadgets?
Pigs trotters / Sharpie permanent marker.

Is there anything in your fridge or freezer that might surprise people?
Only skeletons in the closet.

See Joseph in the Chefs Demo Tent at Crabfest on Sunday 6th May at 10am. 
Follow Joseph on Instagram @joesphrobnison

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