Chef of the Week: Harry Paynter-Roberts, Sous Chef at Carden Park Hotel, Nr Chester

How long have you worked at your current restaurant?
I have worked at Carden Park Hotel, The Vines restaurant for just shy of 3 years under the influence of Graham Tinsley MBE and Harri Williams .

Where did your passion for cooking come from and where did you learn your skills?
My passion for cooking came from my nain and I learnt the majority of my skills from my time at a wide array of restaurants.

What do you enjoy most about being a chef?
The part I enjoy most about being a chef is that I feel every day is a new challenge and often learn something new.

Which piece of kitchen equipment couldn’t you live without?
The piece of equipment I can’t live without has to be the step pallet knife because I find it to be handy for everything!

What food trends are you spotting at the moment?
The food trends I am spotting at the minute are Asian inspired dishes, I have seen lots of restaurants including this in their new menus.

What do you think is a common mistake that lets chefs down?
Most common mistakes I see from chefs which are letting them down is trying very complex things – when usually in the kitchen, less is more.

What is your favourite time of year for food, and why?
My favourite time of year for food is spring, everything is vibrant, and I love to forage wild garlic and sea herbs with my partner, Chloe and my son, Noah.

Which of your dishes are you most proud of?
The dish I am proudest of has got to be the tandoori monkfish, this has become a staple main course now in the Vines Restaurant.

How do you come up with new dishes?
I find inspiration for new dishes from the season we are going in to. We discuss and develop dishes as a team.

Who was your greatest influence?
My greatest influence has got to be my Executive Head Chef Graham Tinsley, I have worked for him for just short of 4 years and has taught me a huge amount so far in my career.

Tell us three chefs you admire.
Three chefs I admire are Mark Birchall, Aiden Byrne and Michel Roux Jnr.

Who do you think are the chefs to watch over the next few months?
I think the chefs to be watching over the next few months are Tom Barnes and Gareth Ward.

What’s been your favourite new restaurant opening of the last year? My favourite new restaurant which has opened recently has to be The Chefs Table in Chester.