Chef of the Week: Clive D’Angelo-Smith, Chef Patron of Four Seasons Catering in Cardiff

How long have you worked at your current restaurant? 

Where did your passion for cooking come from and where did you learn your skills?
From my dad to start with. I worked in his pub restaurant from about 11 years old. I trained in Coventry at Henley College and worked at Coombe Abbey Country Hotel full-time alongside college.

What do you enjoy most about being a chef?
I love watching people eating my food. The wow’s and the ohh’s as the food is going out is something that gives the kitchen a real buzz.

Name three ingredients you couldn’t cook without.
Black treacle, Ultratex and sea salt flakes.

Which piece of kitchen equipment couldn’t you live without?
KitchenAid – its my best friend!

What food trends are you spotting at the moment?
Vegan food is growing faster by the day. Smaller more simplified menus are on the increase. Small plates and sharing platters are massive at the moment too.

What do you think is a common mistake that lets chefs down?
Thinking something is perfect, there’s always room for improvement.

What is your favourite time of year for food, and why?
Autumn is my favourite. The produce available especially vegetables is something special.

Which of your dishes are you most proud of?
Black treacle marinated fillet steak, pomme pont neuf & peppercorn sauce – this is one of my signature dishes at Fine Dine with Clive, everyone asks for it.

How do you come up with new dishes?
I look at trends and what is available seasonally and try a few ideas out. Sometimes I don’t know how I’m going to plate a dish until I’m plating up during service.

Who was your greatest influence?
My dad without a shadow of doubt, without seeing him at work or working with him, I doubt I’d be where I am today.

Tell us three chefs you admire.
Michel Roux Jnr, Marco Pierre White and Michael Caines.

What is your favourite cookbook?
White Heat.

Who do you think are the chefs to watch over the next few months?
Hywel Griffith at The Beach House.

What’s been your favourite new restaurant opening of the last year?
Not so new, but my visit to The Beach House in Oxwich Bay was incredible.