Chef of the Week: Joshua Morris, Senior Sous Chef at Palé Hall in Gwynedd, Wales

How long have you worked at your current restaurant?
I have been at Palé Hall since October 2019, where I’m currently the Senior Sous Chef.

Where did your passion for cooking come from and where did you learn your skills?
I sort of fell into it, started as a kitchen porter and eventually progressed through the ranks and realised I really enjoyed cooking food. Working under Matt Waldron at the Park House in Cardiff, Adam Reid at the French in Manchester, and Gareth Stevenson at Palé Hall, have all taught me a lot.

What do you enjoy most about being a chef?
No day is ever the same, and how creative each day can be, and meeting some interesting characters is always a bonus.

Name three ingredients you couldn’t cook without.
Salt, butter & garlic.

Which piece of kitchen equipment couldn’t you live without?
My Wusthof fish slice, it’s battered but it’s still going strong with me into every service.

What food trends are you spotting at the moment?
Everyone seems to be using those pesky leaf tuiles…

What do you think is a common mistake that lets chefs down?
Poor attitudes & a lack of patience, myself being guilty of both in my younger days.

What is your favourite time of year for food, and why?
Spring, you get some mega produce like British asparagus and some banging Jersey royals. The world is essentially waking up…

Which of your dishes are you most proud of?
Probably the dishes I put up for Welsh National Chef of the Year, after all, I won it with them.

How do you come up with new dishes?
I can be influenced by anything, but it’s usually just using the seasons and pairing flavours & textures. If it works, it works.

Who was your greatest influence?
It’s a toss-up between Gareth Stevenson, Matt Waldron & Adam Reid, they’ve all shaped me in different ways.

Tell us three chefs you admire.
Daniel Clifford, Michael Caines & Hywel Jones. All have done incredible things during their time in the industry.

What is your favourite cookbook?
Midsummer House Cookbook.

Who do you think are the chefs to watch over the next few months?
Ollie Bridgwater up at The Gilpin is cooking some amazing food right now.

What’s been your favourite new restaurant opening of the last year?
I haven’t personally been, but Higher Ground in Manchester, looks amazing and is definitely on my list.