“Fine dining was too ‘hush hush’ – we make more money now that the restaurant is relaxed”


Nathan Outlaw, 43, is the chef who rose to prominence in 2004 when he won his first Michelin star. His restaurant Nathan Outlaw had four AA rosettes and two Michelin stars; it topped the 2018 Good Food Guide’s Top 50 Restaurants.

Today he owns Outlaw’s New Road and Outlaw’s Fish Kitchen (both have a Michelin star) in Port Isaac, Cornwall, where he lives with his wife, Rachel, two children and two dogs.

How did your childhood influence your attitude towards money?

My parents worked hard but there were always savings and savings. We grew up on a housing estate in Kent, but my brother and I have never been without it.

I spent my 50p pocket money on Panini football stickers and at 13 worked at a market stall and at a golf club washing dishes.

Dad was a chef and mom was “mommy” when we were little and later an English teacher. We had holidays with the Pontins or with Butlin; they paid at a club every week to afford it.

When my dad got laid off, we went to Disney World in Florida. He said, “It’s the only time I had money, so let’s spend it.”

What was your first full-time job?

At the InterContinental hotel in Hyde Park Corner as a commis chef, once I finished catering school in 1997. Everyone was advised to go to a big five star hotel in London for their first job. My salary was £7,500 a year.

Do you use cash, credit or debit cards?

Debit cards. We don’t have credit cards. We did it once and fell into this trap for 15 years of having credit over our heads. When the kids were young and your monthly paycheck was coming in, you still didn’t have enough to pay off that credit card.

How did your first restaurant start?

In 2003 I worked as a chef in Newbury at the Vineyard of Stockcross. Wanting my own restaurant, the only way was to go to Cornwall.

I owned nothing; I rented the building from Rock with my in-laws, took over an existing restaurant, painted the walls and got ready. Within two weeks we opened as Black Pig.


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