Chef of the Week: Adam Gerrish – Sous Chef at The Natterjack Inn in Somerset
How long have you worked at your current restaurant?
8 months – I recently relocated to my home town in Somerset after 13 years in Cornwall.
Where did your passion for cooking come from and where did you learn your skills?
When I joined the 1 Michelin star Charlton House Hotel in Shepton Mallet as a Commis Chef. The team headed by Adam Fellows were all very talented and gave me much encouragement, especially to enter competitions. The first I won was South West Young Chef of the Year and many more awards followed. However, my burning passion was in the pastry section and I was taught by some exceptional French chefs. More skills developed when I travelled up and down the country working in many country house hotels.
What do you most enjoy about being a chef?
Being creative and passionate about the food I produce and getting positive feedback from the customers. I also enjoy being part of a team and the buzz of the kitchen.
Name three ingredients you cannot cook without.
Cream, vanilla pods and ground almonds.
Which piece of kitchen equipment can you not live without?
What food trends are you spotting at the moment?
Cooking over coals. Also, during lockdown home cookalongs with Michael O’ Hare, Tom Shepherd, and Adam Reid.
What do you think is the most common mistake that lets chefs down?
Over complicating dishes. I like clean and simple presentation using the finest local ingredients to produce amazing flavour combinations.
What is your favourite time of year for food and why?
Autumn – I like the use of local game and wild fowl, root vegetables, ripe berries bursting with intense flavour, dark leafy greens and apples to make chutneys. The mellow colours of squashes and pumpkins for velvety soups.
Which of your dishes are you most proud?
Warm ginger cake with lime and crème fraiche, sorbet and chilli syrup. This one contributed to me wining Cornwall Master Chef 2013.
How do you come up with a new ideas?
By eating out to check the competition, cookery books and magazines. I then brainstorm local ingredients that will compliment each other to give amazing flavours. Lastly I draw a design of the presentation to make it unique to me.
Who was your greatest influence?
Jerome Barbancon, a brilliant French chef I worked with in Somerset, he recognised something in me and promoted me accordingly. He asked me to join his team as Pastry Chef when he moved to Brockencote Hall in Worcestershire and again at The Old Government House in Guernsey. His presentation and skills were amazing.
Tell us three chefs you admire
- Paul Ainsworth – No 6 Padstow
- Peter Gorton – International Chef Consultant
- Michael O ‘Hare – Man behind the Curtain
What is your favourite cookbook?
David Everitt Matthias, Le Champignon Sauvage (Desserts).
Who do you think are the chefs to watch over the next few months?
- Ben Abercrombie – Executive Chef, The Newt in Bruton, Somerset
- Niall Keeting – Whatley Manor
- Andrew Sheridan – About 8ight
What’s been your favourite new restaurant opening of the last year?
Karrek Restaurant, Guy Owen in Rock, Cornwall.