Exclusive insight: Chefs in the spotlight

Allister

As the calendar rolls round to winter and the season shifts to bring a new palette of ingredients to the fore, we wanted to catch up with some of the hottest chefs in the industry right now to discover how they best prepare for the cold snap to keep customers coming.

Will Holland

Will Holland

Story continues below
Advertisement

Executive chef

The Atlantic Hotel, Jersey 

Favourite ingredient to use during the winter months:

Gin botanicals

Why do you love it? It’s essentially a by-product from gin production but is an amazing and very inspirational ingredient. For me it has a very wintery flavour and aroma because of all the cloves, coriander, juniper, orange and lemon zest etc in it. It’s a highly versatile ingredient and has many uses.

Your top tip for using this ingredient: Use it in sweet or savoury dishes and in meat or fish dishes. Use it to infuse or marinade different ingredients. Even use it in mulled wine or in a spiced winter cocktail.

What’s your favourite sort of dish to create in the winter?

I love ‘winter warmers’. Things that once you’ve eaten them make you want to curl up on the sofa in front of the fire and have a little nap! For example ox cheek braised in red wine with buttery mashed potato, smoked bacon, shallots and mushrooms.

How do you ensure your winter menu stays fresh and current but also includes customer favourites?

I utilise as many seasonal and local ingredients as possible on my menus and change them regularly to keep them interesting, exciting and current. I like to serve ‘familiar flavours’ to our guests with a slightly unusual twist. For example, I have an amazing recipe for an ultra-light Christmas pudding ice cream I plan to put on the menu around Christmas.

What sort of vibe will you be aiming to create in the restaurant this winter?

A relaxed luxurious environment with professional and friendly service where our guests can unwind and enjoy what we offer with their family and friends to see in the festive season.

Martin

Martin Burge

Culinary director

Farncombe Estate

Favourite ingredient to use during the winter months:

Black winter truffle

Why do you love it? Its versatility and the way it can be matched up with many different ingredients like the humble root vegetable, meat and fish and also less obvious ingredients like honey and chocolate.

Your top tip for using this ingredient: You can preserve truffles in lots of different ways. I like to cook the truffles in Madeira and brandy to create a wonderful truffle jus or alternatively freeze them whole. The trick with a frozen truffle is to simply grate it with a sharp micro plane and then return it back into the freezer ready for next time.

What’s your favourite sort of dish to create in the winter?

I love to combine celeriac, leeks and truffle. It goes so well together and positions itself perfectly on a vegetarian menu.

How do you ensure your winter menu stays fresh and current but also includes customer favourites?

I like to plan the menu in advance and understand what ingredients are in season. When composing a menu I always look to bring back some of the guests winter warming favourites and then add some new exciting creations to keep the menu exciting and innovative.

What sort of vibe will you be aiming to create in the restaurant this winter? 

Winter is one of my favourite seasons. An opportunity to serve up good hearty winter dishes with bold flavours. It’s also game season and being located in the heart of the Cotswolds we have some of the best game produce on our doorstep. Our aim is to take our guests on an exciting creative culinary journey alongside maintaining a well-balanced dining experience.

Alan-White

Alan White                                        

Executive head chef

The Grand Brighton

Favourite ingredient to use during the winter months:

Brussels sprouts

Why do you love it? The unique flavour and the variety to shred, fry, or purée them. They add earthiness to fish dishes, seasonality and they are always a talking point, you either love or hate them, they are the true marmite opinion…

Your top tip for using this ingredient: Shred raw, fry with bacon lardons, shallots, white wine, cream and parsley, finishing off with a knob of garlic butter.

What’s your favourite sort of dish to create in the winter?

Hearty, comforting, filling and warming dishes. A large pot of fish stew to share with fresh bread and greens.

How do you ensure your winter menu stays fresh and current but also includes customer favourites?

Using the seasonality of produce, creating wholesome favourites with a twist. I like to take inspiration from family recipes and childhood memories.

What sort of vibe will you be aiming to create in the restaurant this winter?

A warm welcome, a cosy retreat to catch up with friends whilst enjoy good food and wine. A perfect spot for social dining, enjoying sharing options such as fruits de mer and oysters. A place to tuck into a damn good steak paired with a hearty red.

Neil Haydock

Neil Haydock

Executive chef

Watergate Bay Hotel

Favourite ingredient to use during the winter months: 

Dried herbs, especially dried fenugreek

Why do you love it? There are some smells and flavours that stay with you, white truffle, roasted grouse etc and fenugreek is one of those for me.

Your top tip for using this ingredient: before adding it to sauces steep in boiling water to release its flavour.

What’s your favourite sort of dish to create in the winter? 

Making a methi with the fenugreek, it’s such a versatile sauce, which works well with game, red meats and meatier fish such as monkfish.

How do you ensure your winter menu stays fresh and current but also includes customer favourites? 

Using seasonal local ingredients with modern twists helps keep favourites current but familiar.

What sort of vibe will you be aiming to create in the restaurant this winter? 

In Zacry’s the soft lighting and glow from the open kitchen gives a warm atmosphere through the winter months, especially if you have just come in off the beach. We focus on simple grilled meats, fish and veggies, served with big fruity reds such as Argentinian Malbec’s

Allister

Allister Barsby 

Executive chef

Grove of Narberth

Favourite ingredient to use during the winter months: I love the game season, I get very excited at the first delivery of grouse.

What do you love about it? As we come away from the summer months, the menu starts to change quite significantly. We start to lose those vibrant greens of summer and move onto yellows and oranges. Duck gets replaced for grouse and lamb for venison, and partridge will make an appearance a little later in the season. It signals the end of the mad rush of the summer holidays and the start of the build up to the festive season. There’s just something in the air as the season changes, and it’s very exciting.

Your top tip for using this ingredient: DON’T OVER COOK IT! As soon as you start to cook game birds well done, they can become very dry and almost livery in taste. Keep it pink, it doesn’t necessarily need to be medium rare, just not well done.

What’s your favourite sort of dish to create in the winter?

Game is such a versatile meat, I love to play with different flavour combinations rather than sticking with the classic braised red cabbage and game chips. This autumn we have paired grouse with sweet corn, hen of the woods and pickled blackcurrants from earlier this year, it works perfectly.

How do you ensure your winter menu stays fresh and current but also includes customer favourites?

We are always trying to evolve and improve our menu and like most kitchens, each dish is tried and tested before it goes on the menu. We use desirable ingredients and the menu is full of new options along with some of my favourite dishes, which are constantly being revisited and improved but our customers will still recognise them.

What sort of vibe will you be aiming to create in the restaurant this winter?

This winter, just like we always try to, keeping the food fresh, vibrant and exciting to eat is always the main priority. My head chef Peter and I will work on new dishes and flavour combinations for the festive and winter menus and work from there. We also have a restaurant and front of house refurbishment planned for the winter, so it will all look very different by spring 2018 which is very exciting for us.

Authors
TAG CLOUD , ,

*

Related posts

Top