Chef of the Week: Galton Blackiston, Chef Proprietor at Morston Hall in Norfolk

How long have you worked at your current restaurant?
We have owned Morston Hall for 26 years.

Where did your passion for cooking come from and where did you learn your skills?
My passion really came from my parents home cooking. I’ve never had formal training and spent my formative years in The Lakes at the then well known Miller Howe.

What do you enjoy most about being a chef?
I like the fact that young chefs listen and respect ones experience and knowledge. I like the fact that other chefs still teach me and inspire me.

Name three ingredients you couldn’t cook without.
Salt and pepper and butter.

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

What food trends are you spotting at the moment?
I don’t like trends in cooking but if pushed, fermentation of everything seems to be everywhere also simpler presentation of dishes with top quality ingredients to the fore.

What do you think is a common mistake that lets chefs down?
Working for money rather than passion for the job.

What is your favourite time of year for food, and why?
The spring when winter has dragged on, then at last new shoots of incredible ingredients come about. Having said that I love the game season from young grouse to teal.

Which of your dishes are you most proud of?
Difficult one, but I love our sour dough and the detail in our chocolate work in all our dishes that go out of the kitchen.

How do you come up with new dishes?
This is really in the most part down to Greg Anderson my incredible Head Chef, in my own way I have a lot of experience and quite often have my moments of inspiration and a new dish evolves.

Who was your greatest influence?
That has to be Michel Roux although back in the day the late John Tovey played a big part in my career.

Tell us three chefs you admire.
I admire all Michelin-stared chefs as I know how hard it is to reach and sustain that level of quality but 3 chefs would be Michel Roux, Alain Ducasse and Sat Bains.

What is your favourite cookbook?
I really love Simon Hopkinsons Roast Chicken and Other Stories but more recently John Williams, The Ritz Cookbook.

Who do you think are the chefs to watch over the next few months?
Our own Greg Anderson also Jonny Bone and Gareth Ward.

What’s been your favourite new restaurant opening of the last year?
Core by Clare Smyth.