Masters of the Month – Billy & Jack

As champions of men, SCRUBD are passionate about helping men to be masters in every area of their life. Every month we interview a true master, or in this case two, who are making a difference in the world around them.

This month we are interviewing Chefs and self-confessed London Foodies, Billy Wright and Jack Layer.

1. What was it like to be in the final of Masterchef 2016, facing real culinary masters as the judges?

Very strange! At one point we were cooking for chefs with nine Michelin stars between them… which obviously as a home cook you don’t ever think you’d get the chance to do. So, on one hand quite incredible and on the other very nerve-wracking indeed.

2. When you were competing for the title of Masterchef champion what was your motivation to get you through the early starts and the heat of the kitchen?

We’re both pretty competitive, so there’s that. No-one wants to go out first, and once you’ve cooked you have got the bug and want to see it through to the end. Obviously winning would have been nice… but if that had happened I doubt we would have ended up working together!

3. As a duo you have now completed some amazing events, like your 24-hour supper club. How did you decide to work together, and take on the kitchen as a pair?

When we finished filming we thought it was the natural thing to do, we both live in London, we’re both a similar age and we just wanted to keep doing things and to see what would happen. Very little was planned, it’s just fortunate that things have ended up this way.

4. What is the biggest challenge you have faced during your cooking careers? (together or apart)

That has to be our 24-cooking challenge for CRUK back in February! Seriously hard, tiring work but in the end, we raised over £12,000, so totally worth all the long hours and aching backs.

5. As Londoners, do you find it difficult to keep up with the food scene in the city? How do you keep on top of the trends etc?

It’s really hard to keep up on what’s opening and what’s worth trying out, there’s just so much going on! We love to try out new restaurants, so we’re always reading the reviews and checking stuff out on Twitter and Instagram. In fact, Instagram is probably now where we hear about most new hot openings – you see something you like and then you book a table! Saying that, we also have our favourites and love some of the old-school restaurants that have been around for donkey’s years.

6. What are both of your recipe recommendations to master your day? Is there a failsafe dish to get you feeling and performing your best?

You can’t beat a good breakfast, that’s for sure. So alongside pots and pots of black coffee we’re big fans of the classics, full English and the like. A good breakfast sets you up for the day – perfect as we often forget to have lunch.

7. A) What qualities do you need to make it as a pro Chef B) How do you transfer these qualities into your daily life?

Not sure we’re quite pro-chefs, as that lot are machines! They are the hardest working people out there, but not only that, you also have to be seriously organised, calm under pressure and physically fit. Working in a pro kitchen is a serious business, it takes stamina, confidence and a real passion to deliver your best work day in day out. All lessons we can take into our lives.

8. What do you wish you knew when you were first starting out that you now know

Give yourself twice as much time as you think you need.

Quick Fire

How do you master your day?

Lists, coffee and taking time out to appreciate everything going on around us.

If you could have dinner with three male masters, who would they be and why?

Alex Ferguson, Keith Floyd, Elon Musk… enough said, surely?

The best piece of advice you have ever received?

It’s better to be late in this life, than early in the next.