Surrey Life - - Food & Drink -

Head chef Mike Wall-palmer’s fo­cus on flavour, taste and sim­plic­ity has helped The An­chor in Ri­p­ley be­come a top foodie des­ti­na­tion loved by lo­cals and na­tional food crit­ics alike. He speaks to Si­mone Hel­lyer...

What first in­spired you to be­come a chef? I’ve al­ways been cre­ative and stud­ied art and de­sign at A Level. I didn’t set out to be­come a chef but an op­por­tu­nity arose in the kitchen at Good­wood and within a week of be­ing im­mersed in that at­mos­phere, feel­ing the buzz and the pres­sure, I knew it was some­thing I wanted to pur­sue as a long-term ca­reer.

What do you en­joy about work­ing at The An­chor? Work­ing closely with Steve Drake [who as well as run­ning The An­chor, also owns Sur­rey Life 2018 Restau­rant of the Year and Miche­lin Star-awarded Sor­rel in Dork­ing]. Our reg­u­lar cre­ative meet­ings and im­ple­ment­ing those dishes and ideas is very sat­is­fy­ing. We have a small team so work­ing closely with them and see­ing them grow and progress is re­ally re­ward­ing. It’s also great to work in a busi­ness that’s a real mix of reg­u­lar and new guests in­trigued by cre­ative menus. What hap­pens at your monthly sup­per club? Our set lunch menu changes ev­ery month so the Sup­per Club is a chance for guests to try the new dishes. It’s a sea­sonal five­course tast­ing menu on the last night of each month. For me, it’s one of the most ex­cit­ing ser­vices of the month. I love see­ing the cre­ative process come to­gether in the fin­ished dishes that we’ve worked on for weeks.

What is your culi­nary ethos? Our food is sim­ple with a fo­cus on flavour, cre­ativ­ity and the best sea­sonal in­gre­di­ents. The An­chor has been a pub since the 1880s and we want guests to ex­pe­ri­ence that re­laxed and fa­mil­iar feel­ing you only get from a tra­di­tional vil­lage pub. De­li­cious food in com­fort­able sur­round­ings that you’ll want to re­turn to.

How do you source your in­gre­di­ents? We’ve lucky to live in a county that’s full of qual­ity pro­duce and sup­pli­ers. We try and source as much as we can lo­cally, even down to pick­ing wild el­der­flower in spring from just out­side our door for a de­li­cious panna cotta and other dishes. Our menu plan­ning starts months in ad­vance so we’re ready for when in­gre­di­ents are at their best.

Web: rip­leyan­

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