Chef of the Week: Carl Newey, Executive Head Chef at The Stonegate Group

How long have you worked at your current restaurant?
I have been working at The Chapter Collection for the past 2.5 years, prior to that I was Head of Food at Bermondsey Pub Company.

Where did your passion for cooking come from and where did you learn your skills?
I think my passion came from my Mum, she always tried to do the best she could with what we could afford at the time. I trained at the Birmingham College of Food (now University of Birmingham) and worked at Malmaison and Hotel du Vin around the UK.

What do you enjoy most about being a chef?
Being able to be creative, play and develop new flavours and work with some brilliant chefs in the business. I love developing new ideas with our chefs to create dishes that our guests will love and want to come back for.

Name three ingredients you couldn’t cook without.
Garlic, sea salt and butter.

Which piece of kitchen equipment couldn’t you live without?
Great question, my knives… but also my Thermomix. I love how versatile they are, I’m like a big kid when it comes to gadgets in the kitchen.

What food trends are you spotting at the moment?
I have recently been out in Miami on a food tour and the biggest trend that I can see eventually coming to the UK is ‘Omakase’ which basically translates to ‘trust the chef’. Let the chef take you on a culinary journey without a menu and allow yourself to try new flavours and experiences.

What do you think is a common mistake that lets chefs down?
So many elements on one dish, simplification is key these days, just have 3 or 4 ingredients on the plate but make sure they are on point and deliver a great experience to your guests.

What is your favourite time of year for food, and why?
Autumn going into winter, the perfect time for slow cooked, hearty food. Cold weather but heart-warming food that makes you smile and soothes your soul.

Which of your dishes are you most proud of?
To be honest I am most proud of having developed award-winning products that are on our menus such as our red wine & fennel sausages that won Gold at the National Craft Butcher Awards in 2023… it makes me feel proud to be able to serve award-winning food to our guests that they keep coming back for.

How do you come up with new dishes?
Spending time out in London visiting different establishments such as pubs, hotels and places that are trendy on social media like Instagram and Tiktok.

Who was your greatest influence?
My first Head Chef at Malmaison, he was driven by quality and instilled that into his team, he wouldn’t accept anything that wasn’t right and he wasn’t proud to serve. It’s a line that I still work too now, and I reflect on when working on development.

Tell us three chefs you admire.
1. Marco Pierre White
2. Tom Kerridge
3. Heston Blumenthal

What is your favourite cookbook?
I recently did a count of how many cook books I have, its 452 …. way too many! The one that I keep going back to is Le Repertoire de la Cuisine, you can’t beat the classics.

What’s been your favourite new restaurant opening of the last year?
The Devonshire, I have consumed way too many calories thanks to their beef cheek and Guinness suet pudding.