Chef of the Week: Guy Manning, Chef Proprietor of the Michelin-starred Red Lion Freehouse in Wiltshire

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

Where did your passion for cooking come from and where did you learn your skills?
Firstly at home, with my family, then cooking 101 at Chez Bruce, thinking and working like a chef 101 Per Se. I practice/train/learn everyday.

What do you enjoy most about being a chef?
Inspiring my team to understand and cook delicious, flavourful food.

Name three ingredients you couldn’t cook without.
Thyme, parsley and chives.

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

What food trends are you spotting at the moment?
Crumpets, ageing fish and burning leeks.

What do you think is a common mistake that lets chefs down? 
Producing technique led food and dishes rather than focusing on making food that eats well and is satisfying

What is your favourite time of year for food, and why? 
I work with what is at its prime at any given time of year and so it is the changing nature of seasonality itself that excites me.

Which of your dishes are you most proud of?
Chateau/chips/bearny. It illustrates my philosophy about food. The best ingredients from the best suppliers cooked using skill to make it as good as it can be. In my opinion a chef must understand this dish before moving on to focus on their own style and creativity.

How do you come up with new dishes?
Dialogue between our talented team of chefs.

Who was your greatest influence? 
Bruce Poole and my Dad.

Tell us three chefs you admire
Thomas Keller, Bruce Poole and Phil Howard.

What is your favourite cookbook?
French Laundry Cookbook.

Who do you think are the chefs to watch over the next few months?
Dan Barker, Connor Barber-Stakey, Arron Varley, Anthony Mortimer and Jamie Gay (our team- they are all superstars!).

What’s been your favourite new restaurant opening of the last year?
Not sure, hard to keep up out here in the sticks, but best meal last year was definitely at Victor’s Fine Dining.