Sunday, 5 June 2016

Get To Know The Chef - Liam Woodward.

Who? Liam Woodward - Head Chef, Nottingham Theatre Royal.

1) When did you first realise that you had an interest in cooking?

"I was young sort of 5 years old, my dad was the head chef at the Rose & crown, Smalley so kind of grew up with it. He used to come home with his whites on. Back in the day, he used to have a huge hat (a thing of the past I suppose) but I suppose that inspired me."

2) When did you first start working in a professional kitchen?

"In 2001 at the age of 16 I walked up to some big doors at Chatterley House Hotel (now closed) and said do you have any jobs chef? He set me on as a kitchen porter. I loved it! Over time I was trusted to do various veg and I've been in a kitchen ever since.
I did however wash woks in a Chinese take away when I was 14 I don't suppose that counts but first time in a kitchen."

3) What's your favourite dish to cook?

"Well this changes all the time, depending on time of year and the seasons, so I'll pick my favourite starter, main and dessert at the present.
Starter I'm a huge fan of chicken liver pate, to transfer something as cheap as chicken liver into something so rich and amazing you can't beat it. I suppose it works all year round too.
Main course got to be lamb and Derbyshire lamb is amazing, we serve a three bone centre cut rack pink fondant potato and Irish cabbage, port jus, beautiful!!
As for pudding well I haven't a sweet tooth so I'll always have a nice cheese board with a glass of port."

4) Are there any particular ingredients that you like to use and why?

"Oh that's easy….. Butter. It's married to everything, enriches everything, glazes, garnishes, thickens, gosh without butter I'd be lost."

5) What's your perfect comfort meal?

"Oh I love a great quality full English breakfast! Good local sausages and bacon, George Stafford’s black pudding, eggs and beans you can't beat that. I have it most Weekends at some point."

6) What's the best piece of advice that you've been given by a fellow chef?

"From Marco Pierre White – he said “ if you're not extreme then people take shortcuts as they don't fear you” makes so much sense in a kitchen"

7) What do you consider to be the most important piece of equipment to have in the kitchen?

"Combo oven, got to be!"

8) If you hadn't become a chef, what would you like to have been doing as a career?

"I was useless at pretty much everything at school. I wasn't bad at art and technical drawing so maybe a graphic designer."



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