My Life in Food: Frederick Forster, head chef, Boundary

'My mum would help us create african dishes – she was my first influence'

Having worked in restaurants in Dubai, Barbados and South Africa, London is now home for Frederick Forster, who has been heading up Boundary Restaurant, in Terence Conran's boutique hotel in East London, since the end of 2012. He has worked with Michelin-starred chefs including Raymond Blanc, Gordon Ramsay, Thomas Keller and Pierre Gagnaire and in 2011 was announced Craft Guild National Chef of the Year.

What are your most and least used pieces of kitchen kit?

I would say our most used is our vacuum pack machine. We use it for storage mainly, things like marinating shoulders of lamb. Least used, I would say our pasta machine. I'm a great lover of pasta but we're a French restaurant, I tend not to have the menu inundated with pasta, even though I'd very much like to.

If you only had £10 to spend on food, where would you spend it and on what?

I live in west Dulwich and go to Brixton market most Sundays. There's a really fantastic butcher there and he always gives us a good deal. I'd probably spend my last £10 on two rib-eye steaks, one for me and one for my son, Tiger.

What do you eat for comfort?

I'm a big lover of Marks & Spencer and particularly their Viennese biscuits. Every time I go past the counter I try not to pick up a packet but I usually end up getting one.

If you could only eat bread or potatoes for the rest of your life, which would you choose?

I would say potatoes. They are more versatile and I can make a lot more things with them, mashed potato, chips, even alcohol… I'm not a big drinker, but I'm just thinking versatility-wise. I'm also trying to cut down the amount of gluten I eat.

What's your desert island recipe?

I used to live and work in Barbados so it would have to be a fish dish from there. My recipe would be a nice Cajun red snapper barbecued Barbadian-style. You fillet it and marinate in garlic, olive oil, lemon rind and a bit of chilli. Wrap it in a banana leaf then off you go.

What's your favourite restaurant?

We have a nice Japanese in west Dulwich we go to sometimes called Edo. We go there as a family, they know us by name and they rarely take an order from us because they know we pretty much get the same thing every time. For high end I would say somewhere like the restaurant in the Ritz Hotel, Wild Honey or Pollen Street Social.

What's your favourite cookbook?

I'm a big fan of Thomas Keller, so I would say his French Laundry Cookbook. The book is full of class and finesse, cleanly presented and very elegant. I hold it in very high esteem, alongside books by people like Raymond Blanc.

Who taught you to cook?

My late mum definitely was the starting influence. She would help us create all these African dishes at home and it sort of took off from there. She gave me inspiration and encouragement when I didn't realise it was something I enjoyed doing.

Suggested Topics
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Food & Drink

    Recruitment Genius: Technical Supervisor

    £24800 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: As one of London's leading Muse...

    Recruitment Genius: Centre Manager

    £14000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

    Guru Careers: Accountant

    £28 - 45k (DOE): Guru Careers: An Accountant is needed to take control of the ...

    Recruitment Genius: Hotel Assistant Manager

    £18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This hotel in Chadderton is a p...

    Day In a Page

    Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

    Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

    Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

    Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
    China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

    China's influence on fashion

    At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
    Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

    The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

    Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
    Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

    Rainbow shades

    It's all bright on the night
    'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

    Bread from heaven

    Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
    Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

    How 'the Axe' helped Labour

    UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
    Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

    The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

    A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
    'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

    Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

    Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

    The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
    Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

    Vince Cable exclusive interview

    Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
    Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

    Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

    Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
    Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

    It's time for my close-up

    Meet the man who films great whites for a living
    Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

    Homeless people keep mobile phones

    A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before