Chef Q&A: Liam Gold­stone

Head chef at the re­cently re­stored 17th cen­tury pub and restau­rant in the ham­let of Sleap­shyde near St Al­bans

Hertfordshire Life - - CONTENTS -

Head chef, The Plough, Sleap­shyde

De­scribe your style

I wouldn’t say I have a par­tic­u­lar style; I aim to source the best qual­ity lo­cal in­gre­di­ents and pre­pare them in such a way in which they speak for them­selves.

How do you de­cide your

menu? The con­tents of the menu are dic­tated com­pletely by sea­son.

What lo­cal pro­duc­ers do you use?

Brid­gette B’s farm at Wat­to­nat-Stone for meat and game. It’s some of the best pro­duce I’ve ever used. Sparshott Fruiter­ers of Bricket Wood near St Al­bans for fruit and veg. I’ve had a long run­ning re­la­tion­ship with them, since I moved to Hert­ford­shire.

Which menu dish do you most en­joy pre­par­ing?

I en­joy work­ing with a full range of in­gre­di­ents, cre­at­ing a wide va­ri­ety of dishes for the menu. If I had to nar­row it down, I’d say the butch­ery and fish prep gives me the most sat­is­fac­tion.

What in­gre­di­ent is most im­por­tant to your cook­ing?

I love most in­gre­di­ents but with­out sea­son­ing they can never reach their full po­ten­tial. The first thing you’re taught as a chef is to sea­son, taste, sea­son, taste. Sea­son­ing is the most im­por­tant part of any cook­ing.

What’s been your best culi­nary idea?

Un­for­tu­nately I can’t claim any great in­no­va­tions; I just use all of the skills and tech­niques I have ac­quired from top chefs to de­liver tasty food.

Who did you train un­der and what did they teach you?

Although I had worked in a few places be­fore, I have to give most of the credit to Phil Thomp­son who taught me al­most ev­ery sin­gle skill I use on a day-to-day ba­sis. Also through Phil I had the op­por­tu­nity to work along­side Phil Utz who showed me you can do very high qual­ity food in a pub en­vi­ron­ment.

Pre­dic­tion for the next food

trend? Large shar­ing plat­ters for the whole ta­ble, where ev­ery­one can in­ter­act and get in­volved.

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