Chef of the Week: Lisa Goodwin-Allen, Executive Chef at Northcote in Lancashire

How long have you worked at your current restaurant?
Since 2001 when I was 20.

Where did your passion for cooking come from and where did you learn your skills?
Cooking at home I realised it was an area where I could be creative. I grew to love it at school and curiously explored it further. I learned a lot from working in other people’s kitchens getting as much experience as I could and taking in as much as possible.

What do you enjoy most about being a chef?
The creativity.

Name three ingredients you couldn’t cook without.
Salt, onions and herbs.

Which piece of kitchen equipment couldn’t you live without?
A Pacojet – it’s so versatile for purees, sorbets, ice creams and more.

What food trends are you spotting at the moment?
At Obsession (our annual food festival) we usually see one ingredient which appears on many menus without the chefs speaking to each other – this year it was duck.

What do you think is a common mistake that lets chefs down?
Over or under seasoning

What is your favourite time of year for food, and why?
Autumn – in the north west we are privileged to have access to fantastic Game.

Which of your dishes are you most proud of?
The Ox dish on our current tasting menu. It takes a cheaper ingredient and elevates it to the status it deserves. Also the Apple Pie – it’s creative and gives diners a homely, humble feeling when they eat it, but the presentation is very intricate and is fine dining style, a contrast to what you’d usually expect from ‘apple pie’!

How do you come up with new dishes?
New dishes always begin with an ingredient, the season and an inspiration.

Who was your greatest influence?
My old college lecturer Robert Marshall-Slater – he pushed me to believe and encouraged me. David Everitt-Mathias – I had the chance to work with him and witness his skill and passion.

Tell us three chefs you admire
Clare Smyth, Juan Amador and Manish Mehrotra from Indian Accent.

What is your favourite cookbook?
At the moment it’s Quay by Peter Gilmore – it’s a beautiful book.

Who do you think are the chefs to watch over the next few months?
Gareth Ward, Luke Selby and Clare Smyth.

What’s been your favourite new restaurant opening of the last year?
Hide by Ollie Dabbous.