My love of cuisine started with baking at home with my mother. I have Welsh heritage on my father’s side, despite this it wasn’t until I had set my sights on being a chef that I moved here to train in Deeside in 2008. My path to Palé included a stint at Maze and working my way through the ranks working with Michael Caines.
Several chefs have influenced my cooking. Daniel Humm at Eleven Madison Park, Bjorn Frantzen at Restaurant Frantzen and Daniel Clifford at Midsummer House being high on the list. Unsurprisingly however, my biggest influence is Michael Caines. Through working for and alongside him, I have learnt to respect the ingredient, refine to the nth degree, and to never accept average.
I want to know exactly where my produce comes from. We buy local when possible, however, only if the quality is right. Luckily we have some fantastic local suppliers. We follow the seasons, it’s a huge part of my philosophy. This means our food is at its prime, the way nature intended, fresh, with a fully developed flavour. My favourite products are Welsh lamb, and morel mushrooms.
Bold flavours. You can identify everything that is on the plate, but I believe the contrast and harmony of the textures, temperatures and acidity is what defines my cooking.
Firstly and most importantly, every technique I know, I share with my kitchen team, we are a young and passionate group who bounce ideas off each other.
We hold regular briefings and tastings with the front of house team, enhancing their knowledge to pass this on to our guests with recommendations and personal knowledge. Our sommelier and liaise to ensure the wine pairings and recommendations enhance the dining experience.
I am working closely with our Estate Manager and head gardener, to begin the planning of a production kitchen garden. I work with several colleges to help inspire the next generation of chef and to raise the profile of our profession.
A lot of people think that hot oil, or equal quantities are the secret to the perfect Yorkshire pudding. I think making it in advance, with a slightly higher ratio of fluids (milk and eggs) helps to create a showstopper for a Sunday lunch.
Rest your meat properly!