Chef of the Week: Matt Ellis, Executive Chef at Holland Hall in Skelmersdale

How long have you worked at your current restaurant?
I have been at Holland Hall of 7 months.

Where did your passion for cooking come from and where did you learn your skills?
I trained at Runshaw College, which was a fantastic place to learn my skills.

What do you enjoy most about being a chef?
I enjoy the creative aspect and freedom to create stunning plates of food.

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

Which piece of kitchen equipment couldn’t you live without?
My Thermomix, I love it!

What food trends are you spotting at the moment?
Social media has created so many trends, but probably foraging as it seems be everyone’s go to at the moment.

What do you think is a common mistake that lets chefs down? 

What is your favourite time of year for food, and why?
Winter, I love braising and slow cooking meats, and all the root vegetables.

Which of your dishes are you most proud of?
Probably dishes that were featured in the ‘Relish’ cookbook for the North West, that was really cool.

How do you come up with new dishes?
Seasonality, flavour profile, and trial and error!

Who was your greatest influence?
Paul Tamburrini at Cameron house.

Tell us three chefs you admire.
Brett Graham, Jason Atherton and George Colambaris.

What is your favourite cookbook?
Midsummer House.

Who do you think are the chefs to watch over the next few months?
Tim Allen, Bret Graham back at The Ledbury and Lisa Goodwin-Allen.

What’s been your favourite new restaurant opening of the last year?
Solo in Aughton.