He's the top chef at the helm of the eatery named Southampton's Best Restaurant.

Nick O'Halloran, of Figurati, talks his big brother, being a child chef and pot noodles in our weekly meet the chef column.

What first inspired you to become a chef?

My brother became a chef and I was very fortunate to experience a professional kitchen from the age of 12. I would go and help wash up at weekends and help with some preparation. From the first day, I fell in love with working in hospitality. 

What was the first meal you cooked for someone else?

My brother had asked me to make a smoked salmon mousse but refused to tell me how. He wanted me to think about what I was doing and why.

What is your proudest career moment?

It has to be winning Southampton’s Best Restaurant for Figurati at the British Restaurant Awards in 2023.

What is your favourite dish from your menu?

We have a wonderful pizza called Zucca, made with a roasted squash cream instead of a traditional tomato base, topped with mozzarella, gorgonzola and roasted squash pieces and finished with pickled pear, candied walnuts and sage.

Daily Echo: The Zucca pizza is a favourite on the Figurati menu

Where is your favourite place to eat in Hampshire?

When we go out to eat as a family, you can't beat a proper pub that serves quality food like The Cricketers Inn, Curdridge. If my wife and I are looking for a more special romantic dining experience I would have to say Restaurant AO at Sunnyfields Farm, Dan Rogan and his team are really doing something special there and beginning to put the area on the culinary map.

What is your culinary guilty pleasure?

My guilty pleasure that I probably shouldn't admit to is a pot noodle, it's quick, easy and no washing up after. To go one step further, I will put the pot noodles into a tortilla wrap and spice it up with lots of chilli, spring onions & crushed tortilla chips, and serve the cooking broth in a mug separately (I'm sorry).

What is your favourite local ingredient?

When in season, Isle of Wight tomatoes. They're some of the best tomatoes you can buy. 

Daily Echo: Figurati Southampton

What’s your career ambition?

Maybe to help the directors to be in a position where we could have a mini-empire of Figuarti’s.