Martin Sweeney

How long have you been at the restaurant?

2 years at Tramshed and 6 years with HIX

Which was the first restaurant you worked in?

Smollett’s restaurant in Cameron House Hotel Loch Lomond.

Great place to work and learn.

What was the last London restaurant you went to, apart from your own?

Tapas Brindisa Shoreditch, round the corner from Tramshed and a great wee spot.

What or who has been the biggest influence on the way you cook and why?

Typically it’s my Mum. If you’re going to cook don’t scrimp on cheap ingredients, spend the money, get the best and don’t mess with it.

What is your personal signature dish?

Smoked barbecued ox cheek with a fennel and red onion slaw. This was my winning dish at ‘Challenge HIX’ where we have a cook off with Mark Hix. It was chosen by Jay Rayner who was there to judge.

Which other chefs do you most admire?

Right now Edson Diaz- Fuentes from Santo Remedio.

A fantastic chef who just decided one day that he would open his own restaurant and hasn’t looked back since; serious determination and great dedication to the cuisine that he loves.

What’s the best part of your job?

The people. The variety of people you get to work with is incredible; such diversity of age, origin and opinions, quite honestly never a dull or quiet moment.

And the worst?

Early mornings!

Necessary but doesn’t mean you have to enjoy them.

What would your last meal be?

BBQ spare ribs from the Dragon Inn in Dumbarton.

They were my first food love, I make no apologies for them they are sweet sticky and full of MSG and I’d eat them by the kilo if I could.

Do you have a chef’s shortcut that you can share with us?

Pop a lemon or lime in to the microwave for a few seconds as it will yield more juice when squeezed.