Chef of the Week: Ryan Mitchell, Head Chef at Chapel 1877 in Cardiff

How long have you worked at your current restaurant?
I have been at Chapel 1877  for seven years.

Where did your passion for cooking come from and where did you learn your skills?
I got my passion from watching my dad cook at home, I used to help him and developed my cooking skills. I did my training at The Celtic Manor.

What do you enjoy most about being a chef?
The thing I most enjoy about being a chef is working together as a team and seeing the joy on the costumers faces, I also enjoy training young chefs and see them flourish.

Name three ingredients you couldn’t cook without.
Tomatoes in season, wild mushrooms and Welsh lamb.

Which piece of kitchen equipment couldn’t you live without?
That’s a hard one as every piece is important but I will say a sharp utility knife.

What food trends are you spotting at the moment?
I don’t really follow food trends I like to do traditional dishes with a twist.

What do you think is a common mistake that lets chefs down?
Too many young chefs just want to run the pass and put fancy herbs on plates.

What is your favourite time of year for food, and why?
I enjoy the summer and autumn as they both produce great ingredients.

Which of your dishes are you most proud of?
I am proud of all my dishes I wouldn’t send anything I wasn’t proud of.

How do you come up with new dishes?
I look at what’s in season and try and think how we can incorporate each item to make it all work together on the plate.

Who was your greatest influence?
I would say my greatest influence  was my dad as he was always cooking for the family after a long day at work.

Tell us three chefs you admire
Michel Roux Jnr, Gordon Ramsay and Heston Blumenthal, as they all bring something different to the industry.

What is your favourite cookbook?
I don’t know if I could pick one, I like to collect them and they’re all so good and different.

Who do you think are the chefs to watch over the next few months?
The one I’m keeping an eye on is a old trainee (Tom Phillips) who worked for me before moving on to big things he has done really well for himself and I can see it getting better.

What’s been your favourite new restaurant opening of the last year?
I haven’t had much time to get out lately so I couldn’t say.