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Steve Drake – Chef of the Month

Steve Drake – Chef of the Month

“I heard about the Chefs Alliance through some friends in the industry, and quickly realised that it was something I wanted to be part of.”

1. Where do you find your inspiration to create and cook as you do?
I try to find inspiration in most things I do on a daily basis. There are so many challenges each day and it can start to wear you down, but by staying creative it is the one thing that, for me, keeps my work exciting. I love everything about my work, and one of my biggest sources of inspiration is books. I have always loved reading about food, about chefs, about new techniques and, more recently, I have found additional inspiration by reading more about nutrition and healthy eating. But if I am honest, my greatest inspiration comes from the people I work with on a daily basis, and finding amazing produce to cook, and then seeing the enjoyment of our customers.


2. What does a Michelin Star represent to you?
It represents a pat on the back for a job well done and something I’m very proud and humbled to have achieved for the restaurant.
I guess it singles our restaurant out as a good place to eat and that gives me a huge smile; and after all, being rewarded for something you love doing isn’t really work at all!


3. What is your best memory while working as a chef?
My best memory is when a regular customer of ours, Mr Cox, turned up at our door with a bucket full of crayfish, which he and his son had just pulled out from the river. The next day we served them to Nico and Dinah-Jane Ladenis, my old boss and an ex 3-star chef, and he loved the crayfish Royale and Nantua sauces we served … and also hearing about eccentric Tony Cox!

4. How did you come across the Chef Alliance programme?
I heard about the Chefs Alliance through some friends in the industry, and quickly realised that it was something I wanted to be part of.


5. How has being a member of the Chef Alliance influenced your cooking?
It has had a huge impact on my cooking and has reinforced my values. Promoting and championing quality local suppliers and using the best of British food has helped to give Britain its status on the world stage. The work Slow Food does is very important and it provides a great service to chefs and restaurateurs as well as small producers.


6. What does Slow Food mean to you?
The Slow Food programme has introduced me to – and helped me access – a diverse range of our forgotten foods, many of which now play an everyday role across my menus. I am proud to be a member of the Chef Alliance.



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