Best of times, worst of times: Ben Haywood

Categories: Behind the stalls

The likes and dislikes of the familiar face behind Borough Cheese Co

Fantasy job
My fantasy job is to be a successful artist. Currently I’m a failing artist.

Favourite childhood dish
Macaroni cheese.

Signature dish
Stir fried vegetables—aubergine, tomatoes, that sort of thing, with thyme and some other herbs on pasta or rice. It’s really good.

Best ever meal
The gnocchi at Padella is great. It’s simple, but good quality and filling. It’s buttery and delicious.

Worst kitchen disaster
I set fire to a cake. I thought if you put the temperature down low, you could leave it for double the amount of time, so I left it in there for like six hours. I was only 10 at the time!

Favourite drink
Probably just coffee. Or sparkling water.

Ben Haywood

Worst drink
Stout. It is kind of chocolatey and coffee-y. I don’t like that it’s really heavy and flat.

Food hero
Raymond Blanc or Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. I like River Cottage—that he gets everything from the restaurant’s own garden and makes meals with homegrown stuff.

Favourite album
Probably Funeral by Arcade Fire.

Least favourite thing about London
The humidity.

Favourite way to relax
By running. I run three times a week.

Favourite city, other than London
So, my second favourite city! I love Tokyo.

Favourite book
The Outsider by Albert Camus. It’s about a man who lives in Tangier and is quite apathetic, generally, and then he goes to a beach with his girlfriend and ex-criminal friend and ends up killing someone. It is a self-defence killing, but he goes to trial and then actually gets proven guilty and is hanged. It’s a brilliant book.

Best gig
Probably Arcade Fire—they did a secret gig in York Hall, the boxing club in Bethnal Green, last year.

Bad day
When the lift breaks—every day here is fun, except when the lift breaks. The cheese is very heavy and we have to carry everything by hand. I wish we could just roll it! But even that is fine, because it is a good work out!

Favourite holiday destination
I don’t have one specific favourite holiday destination. I like nature, so I like to go to places with beautiful scenery, like the west coast of America.

Best recent film
The Square—it’s a dark comedy about the art world. I am generally pretty nice and happy, but for some reason I am drawn to really dark stuff!

Worst film
Pain and Gain. It’s about steroids and bodybuilders. It’s just really bad.

Biggest sporting hero
Roger Federer.

Favourite thing about London
I like that it feels very small and liveable. It’s expensive, of course, but I like the different neighbourhoods. And the fact it’s a very green city.

Hangover cure
Lots of water and earl grey tea.