Chef of the Week: Cepdia Schrouder, Executive Head Chef at Bristol Marriott Royal

How long have you worked at your current restaurant?
3 years.

Where did your passion for cooking come from and where did you learn your skills?
University College Birmingham.

What do you enjoy most about being a chef?
Working as a chef gives you more freedom and allows you to be more creative than just about any other career. Cooking also encourages you to make adjustments and create new and interesting flavours. Even recipes are just guidelines, and you can change the ratios and add new ingredients to make a dish your own.

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

Which piece of kitchen equipment couldn’t you live without?
My I.O. Shen chef knife.

What food trends are you spotting at the moment?
Trying to leave behind as little food and packaging waste as possible when cooking and eating. Making zero waste dishes and have no food waste in the kitchen and at home.

What do you think is a common mistake that lets chefs down?
They fail to taste their own food, and forget to season, some focus purely on the presentation at the expense of flavour.

What is your favourite time of year for food, and why?
Love summer time.

Which of your dishes are you most proud of?
Cooking the starter at The Chefs’ Forum Lunch at Bristol Beacon with up and coming students from City of Bristol College.

How do you come up with new dishes?
Reading lots of cookery books and follow different chefs.

Who was your greatest influence?
My aunt, when I was young her cooking skills and technique were phenomenal and it opened my eyes when it came to cooking.

Tell us three chefs you admire.
Philip Veal at Sketch in York, Martyn Watkins at Laksa Shack and Lukasz Prus at Marriott Delta Hotel Bristol.

What is your favourite cookbook?
Larousse Gastronomique.