Chef of the Week: Nick Brodie of Llangoed Hall in Wales

How long have you worked at Llangoed Hall?
Just over five years.

Where did your passion for cooking come from and where did you learn your skills?
My passion for food has always been there but it has certainly grown throughout my career as you’re always learning about flavour, textures and contrasts. With experimentation and the new products on the market for development of dishes, you can never stop evolving.

What do you enjoy most about being a chef?
Creating new dishes and development of menus and getting ideas from your head onto the plate is a highlight of the job.

Name three ingredients you couldn’t cook without
Garlic, soy sauce and miso paste.

Which piece of kitchen equipment couldn’t you live without?
A decent pan. Scratched or warped pans infuriate me.

What food trends are you spotting at the moment?
British cuisine takes influences from all over but I see a lot of Nordic influences, from ingredients to the clean lines of presentation and flavours.

What do you think is a common mistake that lets chefs down? 
Rocking up late for a breakfast shift and not turning up for interviews.

What is your favourite time of year for food, and why?
It has to be the summer because such a great wealth of UK produce is available, and our soft fruit cannot be beaten.

Which of your dishes are you most proud of?
I have an ever-changing menu and I like all the produce we make, from our own freshly collected eggs being used for breakfast to our own smoked salmon being used for an afternoon tea sandwich. We make everything on site and that makes me very proud.

How do you come up with new dishes?
It’s always in my mind, so it’s quite hard to get away from. Even sitting here writing this my mind is thinking of a blueberry dessert I want to put on the menu tonight!

Who was your greatest influence? 
I think there are so many influences in your life – people and places – to make you into what you are and you take things from all that you meet and do along the way. It would be naïve of me to pinpoint one occasion or person.

Tell us three chefs you admire
There would be a long list but I always admire any chef that can day in day out do what they do and love their job.

What is your favourite cookbook?
I used to have so many, but I don’t really read them so much anymore as I find if you want a really individual style it’s best to go with your own mind and not to go through books. Just a list of ingredients is better to loosen the brain and get your ideas down.

Who do you think are the chefs to watch over the next few months?
I have had some real gems work for me in my career and I always expect to see them make their mark within the industry.

What’s been your favourite new restaurant opening of the last year?
Some new Japanese restaurants in London are on my list of to do this year.

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