Wednesday 26 February 2020 3:05 pm

Weekly Grill: Hide’s Josh Angus on why you should never climb into an oven and why he’s traumatised by tofu

Who are you and what do you do?

My name is Josh Angus and I’m head chef at Hide on Piccadilly. I run a team of around 50 chefs serving 300 guests a day. Hide has been open for 16 months and since opening we have won numerous awards for our food and wine. We won a Michelin star just after five months. 

What food makes you happy and why?

Things like street food baos or truffle and melted cheese toastie put a smile on my face. The naughtier the better.

You come home drunk and hungry – what do you cook? 

I would avoid cooking at all costs! If I had  to, it would be something dirty like a bacon sarnie or a cheese toastie with sweet chilli sauce to dip it in. But honestly I’d just grab a kebab on the way home.

The fancy staircase in Hide

What’s the strangest encounter you’ve had in your restaurant? 

We sometimes auction a ‘day in the kitchen experience’ at Hide for charity. We usually have keen amateur cooks coming in to see what it’s like in a Michelin kitchen. But one time we had an 11 year old boy turn up. I wasn’t prepared for that so I showed him how to make pasta and let him get on with it. 

What’s your earliest food memory?  

Licking the raw cake mix off the spoon when I used to make cakes with my mum. Raw cake tastes amazing, and I have a very sweet tooth. I still do the same at home.

What’s your favourite dish? 

Right now, it’s our fig, crab and lovage tart. It’s seasonal, looks sharp and is super-tasty.

Read more: Working Lunch: Wilder is serious food for serious people, but seriously good

Tell us about the best meal you ever had

Dining at Fat Duck with my missus and some friends was an incredible experience. We were sitting there for five hours, and there wasn’t a dull moment. The dishes kept coming with interactive props and stories linked to them, taking you through a journey and really keeping your attention for the whole time. It wasn’t only a dinner, it was closer to going to a show, where you’re the main character. For simply incredible food, Moorhall has stuck in my mind – really good food in a stunning countryside setting.

What’s the worst thing you’ve ever put in your mouth?

I love to try new things: I have tasted sparrow, scorpions, bull testicles. But the most disgusting thing I have ever tasted is smoked tofu. That traumatised me. 

What’s the most outrageous thing you’ve seen a chef do? 

I have seen a lot in my career: a pan being smashed on someone’s head; drinking booze at work; falling asleep whilst standing prepping food. But the best one was when the now exec chef of a restaurant in Sydney was joking around and crawled inside a full-size Rationale oven. To his shock the door closed and we set the oven to steam… The look on his face was priceless and still makes me laugh whenever I think of it.

Hide’s baked pumpkin

What do most people get wrong when cooking?

Seasoning. It’s a skill to add the right amount of salt to food: enough so it lifts the flavours, not too much so it overpowers and ruins the dish. Start with adding small amounts of salt, and taste each time. As soon as you can taste the salt, stop.

What should everyone have in their kitchen cupboard? 

Salt, pepper, good olive oil (Belazu brand is great), garlic, red and white wine vinegar, and lemon. This is all you need to lift dishes and season to perfection.

You’re mayor for a day – what food law would you introduce? 

Smoked tofu would be banned. I would also make everyone get out of their comfort zones and try a food they have never dared to eat, or a cuisine they have never tried before.

To book a table go to hide.co.uk, or pop in to Hide, 85 Piccadilly, W1J 7NB

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