Chef of the Week: Ross Gibbens, Executive Chef at Severnshed Restaurant in Bristol

How long have you worked at your current restaurant?
Since mid January 2019.

Where did your passion for cooking come from and where did you learn your skills?
My dad was a chef and used it to travel the world when it wasn’t as accessibleas it is today. Used to sound like a lot of fun so caught the bug so to speak.

What do you enjoy most about being a chef?
Eating out is ultimately a luxury, so when people choose to spend their hard earned money in a venue you’ve created and the food you’ve produced, it is a very for-filling feeling.

Name three ingredients you couldn’t cook without.
Salt, lemon juice and good olive oil.

Which piece of kitchen equipment couldn’t you live without?
A timer!

What food trends are you spotting at the moment?
Trends are ultimately fashions, fashions come and go. Focus on the things that aren’t going anywhere; provenance, seasonality and know the journey your ingredients have taken.

What do you think is a common mistake that lets chefs down?
Not looking after their mental health.It’s easy to forget about the bigger picture in our trade. Don’t be afraid to put your hand up if you’re struggling and talk to the people around you.

What is your favourite time of year for food, and why?
Spring, nature’s larder come alive.

Which of your dishes are you most proud of?
Mackerel tartare with cobnuts and plum kernel oil is a great dish I think.

How do you come up with new dishes?
Follow the seasons and think about what you love and enjoy in a satisfying plate of food.

Who was your greatest influence?
Ultimately my first head chef. He put his arm round me and invested in me. He set me on the right track.

 Tell us three chefs you admire

What is your favourite cookbook?
Crust by Richard Bertinet.

Who do you think are the chefs to watch over the next few months?
Ben Marks from Perilla.

What’s been your favourite new restaurant opening of the last year?
Hide was huge last year for the Fine Dining side of things and FED 303 has made living on Gloucester Road even more enjoyable, what a place.