I love all food, eating it and cooking it, so it is difficult to completely describe what my style is.
Sometimes it can be traditional British, French or Asian or a blend of all or some of them.
The most important thing to me is that it tastes fantastic.
I want every mouthful to be delicious, whether it is a perfectly cooked poached egg with a sprinkle of sea salt or an explosion of Thai flavours in a dipping sauce. The two are a million miles apart but both should be a pleasure to eat.
I used to want to cook only what was ‘fashionable’, but I soon realised that was a big mistake. How can food be fashionable? If something tasted great in the 70’s and you enjoy eating it, it is still worth eating. I particularly enjoy taking old classics such as Baked Alaska and remaking it my way with lemon polenta cake, raspberries and limoncello, for example.
I believe dishes became classics because they were originally so good but all too often, over the years, due to popularity and over production, the magic is lost. The magic can so easily be reintroduced with a little love from the cook in the kitchen.
So when you read my menus don’t be fooled into thinking that you know what will be served. You may get a few surprises. It’s all in the detail!
This is Indian Kulfi ice cream flavoured with cardamom and served with sprinkles of Thai basil sugar, toasted coconut, candied red chillies & salty roasted pistachio. A seriously good pud but presented in a novel way to get people talking!
Sadly, I can’t take the credit for this one. This is a recipe from Ashburton Cookery School, where I trained. The wonderful Joe Bartlett was our chef tutor for our Asian week and these will always be Joe’s rocket lollies to me!
See my blog post entry titled “Training at chefs school“.
So whether it’s a retro pudding or a simply pan fried chicken breast with a stunning Madeira jus, I believe all food can be amazing. The secret is to use the very best ingredients you can get your hands on. In my opinion this means when it is in season; that’s when a fish or a vegetable it will be at its very best, at its freshest and tastiest. I like to use quite humble ingredients and get the very best from them. I often use vegetables that remind me of my childhood but which, until recently, were not available unless you grew them yourself, such as purple sprouting – a vegetable grower’s springtime delight but now marketed as a luxury vegetable in supermarkets!
Do have a look at my seasonal sample menus but do remember they are just samples of the types of dishes I like to cook.