Foraging rather than fads will be the focus for Ross Stovold in his new appointment as head chef at Seaham Hall in Northumberland.
Stovold has joined the five-AA-star, 20-bedroom hotel from the Isle of Eriska hotel in Argyll, where he won a Michelin star in 2014. He replaces Sam Bolsover who has emigrated to Canada as executive chef of the Wedgewood Hotel & Spa in Vancouver.
In his new role, Stovold will be responsible for two outlets at Seaham Hall: Byron's Restaurant and Ozone, an Asian restaurant in the Serenity Spa.
Having made use of 40 wild edible species of plants, seaweed, nuts, berries, mushrooms and herbs during his time at the Isle of Eriska, he is now looking forward to hunting for similar ingredients in Seaham Hall's 37-acre garden and the nearby beach.
Stovold will also be experimenting with various preservation methods to enable him to use ingredients all year round. "I see no meaning to having pineapple on the menu in the winter in the north of England," he said. "I would prefer to offer sorbet made from strawberries that we pickled in the summer."
Ross Grieve, managing director of Seaham Hall, said he is "delighted" to welcome Stovold to the hotel. "His new menu is full of creative dishes and unique flavour pairings, and I greatly admire, and concur with, his celebration of the individual ingredients and their source. We are all very excited about his refreshing methodology, which fits in very well with Seaham Hall."
Before joining Isle of Eriska in July 2013, he worked at Alimentum in Cambridge and Restaurant Sat Bains in Nottingham.