Head chef Dan Moon’s use of locally grown produce is catching the attention of foodies everywhere.
It’s just after lunch at Dan Moon at The Gainsborough, the elegant Georgian-design restaurant regarded as one of Bath’s top tables. The restaurant is located at the award-winning The Gainsborough Bath Spa, which recently added the Hotel of the Year (England) accolade at the 2017 AA Hospitality Awards to its list of achievements. Its head chef Dan Moon, who was born in Exmouth in the Westcountry, knows the farming communities in the area well. This home-grown expertise allows him to make the most of the freshest, the finest and often unconventional, produce.
“I always look at what’s in season,” he says. His criteria for selecting ‘wow’ ingredients involves “anything that meets visual specifications; basically, anything that looks and tastes amazing”. Moon adds a dash of apple cider vinegar to the chicken liver, which he explains is something that balances the flavours.
“I find elements that work well together and place them on a blank canvas,” he adds. Meats, according to Moon, are used as a form of language; a method of communication that contrasts flavours – the richness of meat with piquant vinegars, pickles and yuzu. His main courses follow a similarly inventive approach. A crowd-pleaser, the Creedy Carver duck breast confit is paired beautifully with spring roll, plum and sesame.
He isn’t averse to presenting smoked salmon with cucumber and borage – a type of local flower – either. The blooms are edible and add colour, texture and taste.
“All dishes at The Gainsborough Restaurant have been created with these contrasts in mind,” Moon says. He adds that fermented beetroot when in season is mixed with cauliflower, milk and whey. “I am always developing new and different dishes that aren’t always predictable”.
The menu at The Gainsborough Restaurant changes seasonally. However, the items that steal the show are often retained. “Those dishes stay on the menu longer,” Moon adds.
The winner of three AA Rosettes and The Caterer’s Acorn Award, this creative chef is steadily carving a name for himself. The reason behind The Gainsborough Restaurant’s buzz both in the United Kingdom and farther afield could well be due to Moon’s perfectionist approach. “I taste every item before it’s served,” he says. “It is the secret to maintaining consistent standards.”
For more information, please visit www.thegainsboroughbathspa.co.uk