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Gary Robinson

Gary Robinson, restaurant director at Condé Nast International Restaurants, shares some personal insights with Kingdom. Before leading the team at Condé Nast, he spent seven years as personal chef to the House of Windsor. His rise to success in the culinary arts since beginning his career in a local restaurant in Fort William is testament to his creative genius and industry.

The most memorable place I have been in the past year is…

Moscow. Its sheer beauty and incredible architecture captivated me, and also reminded me that there are still so many wonderful discoveries to be had.

If I had to choose one vacation destination for the rest of my life it would be…

The French Alps. Magical in the winter, but surprisingly hot and quite beautiful through the summer.

My favourite city is…

Hong Kong. It has been home to me for so many years, and I have never tired of the energy the place gives off.

I always go back to eat at…

Palombos Fish and Chip shop in Alexandria, where I grew up. It’s still my favourite chippy, despite having sampled a fair few in my time.

The most exhilarating culinary experience I have ever had was…

The absolutely incredible 12 course tasting menu at Enoteca Pinchiorri in Florence. I remember so much of it still, from the perfectly roasted pigeon under a bread crust to the pistachio gelato served in paper thin sugar snap cones, I doubt I’ll ever forget it.

The first thing to appear on my list of guilty pleasures would be…

If it was a food, cheese every time. If it were to be a luxury treat, I am fascinated by beautiful watches. If we are talking about something non-materialistic, holidays where the sun shines late into the evening; Cebu in the southern Philippines would be my escape of choice.

I am currently glued to…

Having just finished re-watching the entire Luther series for at least the fourth time, I still cannot fathom out how it has come to such an abrupt end. While I’m waiting, I’m back onto Dexter.

If I was asked to fill a large domestic space with art I would…

Give this over to the mind-blowingly incredible artist Antoinette Wysocki to work her magic. I have been tracking her work for years, and what she can do with a free reign and plenty of space is just too perfect a position to find yourself in.

My style icon is…

I am always taken by the way that Jude Law can carry off a tweed three piece suit. In saying that, I am also incredibly envious at how Anthony Adebo can wear red so well. My colleague, the ever sartorial Jacky Tam, Senior Fashion Editor for GQ China, is the only man I trust and ask when I need advice in this department.

My best loved piece of clothing is…

An old blue cashmere sweater. It’s been with me forever, never let me down and always does the job at hand.

If I had to choose between theatre, opera, film and dance I would pick…

Movies fill in the long, lazy gaps in life, but I think the opera is an art form that should it disappear, we would all be the worse off for it.

My favourite movie is…

I’m almost ashamed to admit it, but The Matrix is the one. I’m less ashamed of the fact that I can pretty much recite the entire dialogue of the movie from start to finish.

My biggest work inspiration is…

Hearing appreciation from a complete stranger.

When I was 25 my ambition was to…

Perfect my art and prove people wrong.

My alternative career path would have been…

An archaeologist, and I may still have that in me.

The person I would be most interested to meet, dead or alive is…

Sir Winston Churchill, and I’d have him stay for the weekend to make the most of the occasion. We would talk field tactics over chilled vintage Champagne.

The greatest challenge I have had to surmount in my life so far is…

Accepting the fact that what I do can be quite subjective in some people’s eyes.

As a member of a Pub quiz team, my specialist category would be…

I’m a dab hand at Sports and Geography, if I do say so myself.

This time in ten years I will be…

Opening an incredible restaurant in an unimaginable destination with a group of very passionate and dedicated people alongside me.

Palombos Fish and Chips; 40 Balloch Road, BallochLoch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park, Alexandria G83 8LEScotland 01389753501

Enoteca Pinchiorri; Via Ghibellina, 87, 50122 Firenze, Italy +39 055 242757 enotecapinchiorri.it

Antoinette Wysocki; anwysocki@aol.com  www.antoinettewysocki.com