‘Shellfish, hare, pheasant, duck... These were the ingredients that I knew as a young person growing up on the coast in North West England. They were at the core of my mother's cuisine, as they were of that of my grandfather, who had been an Army chef. Anything else is the product of chance encounters… First of all working with Michael Croft. This chef of the Royal Crescent Hotel in Bath where I had gone to train moved to London and took me with him. To the Mirabelle. Then with John Burton-Race. He and I worked together at Raymond Blanc’s Manoir aux Quat’Saisons. I followed him to L’Ortolan in Shinfield, and then to The Landmark Hotel in London. And then, at last, Whatley Manor. The opportunity to get back to the ‘countryside’ and head up a gourmet restaurant and a brasserie, where I can create a finely-crafted classic cuisine which is French inspired but with a modern twist.’
I love to roast “black foot” chicken and then serve the breast with morels and asparagus, which I enhance with a Sauterne gelée and Morteau sausage.
I try to source my chickens from local farmers as much as possible. The goal is to find the right balance between the best product and its sustainability.
Like Raymond, I take a great deal of pleasure in cooking chicken.