The son of a chef, Hulstone was a Roux Scholar, Knorr National Chef of the Year and World Junior Chef by the time he was 30. After working in kitchens like Cotswold House, Cheltenham’s Bacchanalian and the Bailiffscourt Hotel, he moved to Devon to head up the Elephant, having already attracted the Michelin panel’s attention.
Hulstone calls his cooking ‘Refined’ everything on the plate is there for a reason’. That’s not to say that his recipes always leave the whimsy out, though – witness his sweet pea and toffee soup. This dish is a prime illustration of Hulstone’s style displaying a deep understanding of the different elements of flavour that make a dish work and then finding those elements in unexpected places. So visitors to his restaurants might find halibut served with golden sultanas alongside parsnip, spring onions and verjus to bring a note of sweetness to the dish, or brown and white crab meat complemented with watermelon and ketchup. Still, Hulstone seeks and achieves in fine style: he is proud to have won a Michelin star with steak and chips on the Elephant’s menu.