Chef of the Week: Amy Duangduean, Head Chef at The Lethbridge Arms in Somerset

How long have you worked at your current restaurant?
Since 2019 when we were at The Chapel in Cotford St Luke but the business moved to The Lethbridge Arms in late 2022.

Where did your passion for cooking come from and where did you learn your skills?
From my mum & dad. I was always cooking with my family when I was younger.

What do you enjoy most about being a chef?
I love to see people enjoying my food

Name three ingredients you couldn’t cook without.
Coconut milk, fresh vegetables and fresh meat. Everything must be fresh, not frozen.

Which piece of kitchen equipment couldn’t you live without?
My wok burner.

What food trends are you spotting at the moment?
More people enjoying vegan and fresh, healthy food.

What do you think is a common mistake that lets chefs down?
Preparation is key. Fail to prepare for service, prepare to fail.

What is your favourite time of year for food, and why?
Thai food doesn’t really follow the seasons. It’s great all year round.

Which of your dishes are you most proud of?
Pad Thai because I make my own sauce when a lot of restaurants buy it already prepared.

How do you come up with new dishes?
When I visit Thailand for three weeks each year, I go to different restaurants and street markets and get inspiration for the new trends happening at home.

Who was your greatest influence?
My mum and dad equally.

Tell us three chefs you admire.
Jamie Oliver, Michael Roux and Ching He Huang.

What is your favourite cookbook?
I don’t use cook books.

Who do you think are the chefs to watch over the next few months?
I honestly don’t know.

What’s been your favourite new restaurant opening of the last year?
I don’t get to eat out much and I’m not really aware of anything ‘wow’ opening near us recently. I love home cooking.