What is the name of the current restaurant you work at and how long have you worked there?
I currently own and operate the Court House Bistro in Dorchester. I have owned the restaurant since the week of lockdown we are so lucky to be able to open now and business is going so well.
Give a brief overview of your career.
I have been a chef for around 15 years give or take, I have managed to work with a number of great chefs including Gordon Ramsay & Michel Roux Jr. I was classically trained in France and worked both there and in Greece. I started my own restaurant a number of years ago just outside London, catering for French classics. Last year I came to Dorset to be Head Chef and owner at The White Hart near Sherborne, When the Oak Room came up for sale I jumped at the chance to set up this classic French bistro.
Where did you learn your skills/culinary education?
I was classic cordon bleu trained in France, working in a number of French restaurants. The rest of my skill shave been taught to me by a number of Michelin chefs over the last 10 years.
What do you enjoy most about being a chef?
I love the freedom to be able to create a dish and serve it the general public. I love the happiness a dish can bring to someone a memory of childhood, a flash to a moment in peoples past that was linked with food. The happiness food can bring people is amazing, people don’t like good food anymore they want amazing memorable food.
How do you come up with new dishes?
Most of the dishes that we serve are adaptations of classic dishes, maybe changing a few classic dishes that have out of season ingredients and replacing them with in season or changing them for something that I feel may work better given the extensive ingredients Dorset has to offer.
Who was your greatest influence?
My greatest influence is not one person or chef but instead they are my diners. I am a big supporter that no one knows what they want on their plate better than the people that are eating it. I feel as a chef I can guide people but the reviews that come back are my influences, also my staff push me to create the dishes we do and if something is not right they are the first to tell me.
What is your favourite cookbook?
I have a number of favourite cookbooks, the classic from Michel Roux, Gary Rhodes, Alain Ducasse, but also from a number of small chefs such as Hairy Bikers and James Martin, but I do really admire the classics.