Kenny spent twenty years in banking before entering MasterChef in 2018 at the encouragement of his wife Lucy, which he went on to win!
Since then, he's established two successful restaurants, Pitch and Bayside Social, and created two exclusive brands, Patty Guy and Ox Block, for our Brighton venue Shelter Hall.
Now, he's making his London debut by brining Patty Guy to Sessions showcase venue in Islington for a limited-time pop-up. He sat down with us to chat about his culinary career and the inspiration for Patty Guy.
What's your best food memory?
I remember when my dad was around, he heard about a new bagel shop. It was doing salt beef and pastrami and stuff like that. It was miles away! But he said to me, "Son, I've heard of this place and we've got to go."
So, we ended up driving there, it took about three hours. I had this handheld food, it was this American inspired salt beef with mustard. I bit into it, and I remember to this day, it's when I really fell in love with that sort of food that's so well known and loved and I immediately understood why.
Tell us about your culinary career?
My mum was always an amazing cook and I was always in the kitchen with her. While other kids were playing football, I was with my mom peeling potatoes, chopping carrots and making gravy. Although, she didn't let me loose on the gravy for years, that was sacred!
Our family always had a love affair of food and we travelled all over the UK when we heard of a new cafe or cake shop. But actually, I was a bank manager for twenty years. It was only when I entered MasterChef and went on to win that this whole new mad world opened up to me. And I realised, that's where my love is, that's where my passion is. I'm always hungry anyway so it's a pretty great world to be in.
What inspired Patty Guy?
It started with an infatuation with anything patty and burger related. Growing up, I was always like 'I want to try that burger...that patty...". It's been an ongoing love affair really, the feeling of having the perfect bite in your hand.
How do you want to make Patty Guy different?
Look there's lots of burgers out there, it's obviously a really really popular cuisine. But for me, it's just making sure that it's that clean all-in-one bite and that the beef really stands out and does the talking. There's a lot of burgers now where you're putting everything on there - there's macaroni cheese, pulled pork and sausages and stuff. And that's great and it definitely has a place. I just love great, really nicely seared meat in a soft bun and the bun is a fluffy vehicle to hold all the stuff in the middle.
Making sure that the stuff that's in it, proper ketchup, French's mustard, complements the beef. I've learned recently that the stuff that comes off the meat when you smash it is called meat candy. And that's it! I want you to taste the meat candy. I want that to be the star of the show.
TRY PATTY GUY
Experience Kenny's smashed burgers at his limited-time pop-up at Sessions