Chef Revelations – Richard Hunt

21 June 2012 by
Chef Revelations – Richard Hunt

What was your best subject at school?
Home Economics was my best subject and Drama was my worst (I'm not a drama queen)

What was your first job in catering?
I worked in a local caravan park doing takeaways aged 15, then I took over cooking at the ‘restaurant', serving mixed grills and the usual tourist fayre

What is your favourite restaurant?
I love the Waterside Inn at Bray if I'm feeling flush, the best of hospitality and food, or down here in Devon, La Petite Maison in Topsham as it's unpretentious and peaceful, and the food is spot on

What flavour combinations do you detest?
The overuse of chilli in dishes, particularly in desserts - why?

What do you normally have for breakfast?
A pot of tea, a multivitamin and a blood pressure tablet!

What's your favourite hotel?
The Deer Park hotel near Honiton in Devon, as I worked there when I was younger and as a country house hotel, it has the grounds, the atmosphere and the hospitality to make it a very special place

Which ingredient do you hate the most?
Microherbs - overused and more often than not underflavoured

Are there any foods/ingredients that you refuse to cook with?
If it walks, swims, crawls or flies and you can catch it you can cook it! The only thing I really will not use is small fish, a 300g John Dory or a 1kg turbot has no place in a chef's kitchen

What is your favourite food/cuisine?
I love foie gras and pâtisserie

Tell us a secret…
Apparently I talk through a kitchen service in my sleep

Who in catering have you most admired?
The Roux brothers, for their longevity combined with their spirit and determination to be the best

What do you do to relax?
I love to go sea fishing or play cricket, or golf (badly) when there is the time, or sit on a beach in the Caribbean with a large gin and tonic

Which person gave you the greatest inspiration?
Keith Floyd had a simple way of approaching the best ingredients

Cast away on a desert island, what luxury would you take?
My 14in Victorinox chef's knife (and my girlfriend; I'd better say that!)

If not yourself, who would you rather have been?
Bill Gates, and retired

Who'd be in your fantasy brigade?
Pastry - Michel Roux Snr and Sarah Hartnett (Sheraton Park Lane); sauce - Paul Ainsworth (No. 6 Padstow); veg - Paul Gayler (the Lanesborough); fish - Keith Floyd and Chris Eden (the Driftwood Hotel); larder - Henri Brosi (the Dorchester).

Richard Hunt, executive chef, the Grand hotel, Torquay

TagsHotels and Chef
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