Chef of the Week: Adam Smith, Executive Chef at Coworth Park in Ascot

How long have you worked at your current restaurant?
Five years in July 2021.

Where did your passion for cooking come from and where did you learn your skills?
I took a part-time job washing up in a small restaurant when I was a teenager and fell in love with the kitchen comradery and creativity.

What do you enjoy most about being a chef?
Hospitality is all about people, working with a passionate team, being able to help the next generation and to exceed our guest expectations.

Name three ingredients you couldn’t cook without.
Salt, herbs and caviar.

Which piece of kitchen equipment couldn’t you live without?
My knifes!

What food trends are you spotting at the moment?
I am not into following trends, I thinks its better to follow your own instinct when it comes to cooking.

What do you think is a common mistake that lets chefs down?
Trying to follow trends and copy others.

What is your favourite time of year for food, and why?
I love the late summer early autumn, just when the game season has started with Grouse and still some later summer vegetables and mushrooms around.

Which of your dishes are you most proud of?
Caviar tart with crab and yuzu is one of my favourite dishes, simple and tasty. I think this dish epitomizes my cooking style.

How do you come up with new dishes?
We always work with a team effort which is all dictated to us by the products and seasons.

Who was your greatest influence?
John Williams was been the biggest influence not just on my career but life in general.

Tell us three chefs you admire.
John Williams, Mark Birchall and Sat Bains.

What is your favourite cookbook?
4 seasons at Table No. 5 by Yannick Alleno.

Who do you think are the chefs to watch over the next few months?
Ben Champkin at The Newt, Douglas Balish at The Grove and Mark Poynton at The Shepherds.

What’s been your favourite new restaurant opening of the last year?
Tough to say in the last year as our industry has had a very tough time but Matthew Ryle’s food at Maison Francois looks fantastic and I can wait to visit.