Revelations: Carl Riley, head chef, the George, Alstonefield, Derbyshire

15 October 2021
Revelations: Carl Riley, head chef, the George, Alstonefield, Derbyshire

What was your best subject at school?


What was your first job?


What do you do to relax?

Walking the edges in the Peak District and then home for a glass of red

Which is your favourite restaurant?

Restaurant Story – epic!

What's your favourite hotel?

The Feversham Arms in York

What is your favourite drink?


What is your favourite cuisine?

French, it has to be

Which ingredient do you hate the most?

Liquorice – blurgh

Are there any foods/ingredients that you refuse to cook with?

Shark fin, no explanation needed

What flavour combinations do you detest?

Recently saw apricot and prawn as a dish – that definitely didn't appeal

What do you always carry with you?

My thoughts and my phone to capture them

Which person in catering have you most admired?

Les Rennie, former head chef at Ynyshir Hall

Which person gave you the greatest inspiration?

I take inspiration from my surroundings – we live in a staggeringly beautiful place

Cast away on a desert island, what luxury would you take?

Laptop (and charger)

If you had not gone into catering, where do you think you would be now?

Playing rugby

Describe your ultimate nightmare?

The check machine gets stuck constantly printing orders and I can't get the food out fast enough

Tell us a secret...

I got awarded three rosettes a couple of years ago and the owner said he didn't want them

Who would play "you" in a film about your life?

Al Pacino… I am a glass-half-full kind of guy!

What is your favourite prepared product?

Boiron purées

If you had more time, what would you do?

Work in a three-star restaurant on my days off

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