Making a delightful impression
Rowton Hall Hotel and Spa, set in a leafy Chester village, showcases seasonal flavours at an elegant luncheon Cheshire Life: December 2018
and they rear old Tamworth rare breed pigs and Berkshire pigs. When they are eventually ready, I take the bellies, the head and the trotters from them. The belly we slow cooked and flaked down and that is the base of the canapé.’
Seeded white and malted oat bread that had been made by the chefs in the Rowton Hall kitchen gave guests an idea of the care and attention to detail that the kitchen is striving for. ‘We hand-make our own breads,’ says Chad. ‘It’s one of the first things I teach my apprentices when they come into the kitchen - the foundations. Because everything is built on the foundations. We do a lot of sous vide cooking as well but it’s very important that they also learn the basics.
‘My kitchen is staffed with guys who 18 months ago were pretty much apprentices and who I have trained up to chef de partie level. They’re a similar age and very similar stage at their career which means I have got a very strong brigade.’
Their cooking skills were showcased in a home-smoked Loch Duart salmon, with just the right amount of smokiness that was cut through with pickled fennel and a subtly flavoured sauce of lemongrass butter.
For mains, a beautiful fillet of beef accompanied by pickled cabbage, anise carrot and pickled shallot proved impressive and inspired Cheshire Life Food and Drink Awards judge Trevor Stone, recipient of the Palme Culinaire by the Association Culinaire Francais, to stand up at the end of the meal and give a short speech, complimenting the youthful brigade on their exemplary cooking skills.
Orchard panna cotta with sour apple meringue made with apples from the grounds of Rowton Hall brought the lunch to a delightful conclusion.
‘It’s very much a celebration of local produce,’ says Chad, who was previously worked at the award-winning Lawns restaurant, at Thornton Hall Hotel on the Wirral.
‘From our point of view, because we are a new team it is also really a statement of intent, which is to bring fine dining as well as relaxed dining to the Chester area.’
“It is also really a statement of intent, which is to bring fine dining as well as relaxed dining to the Chester area” eatcheshire