Chef Giles Stonehouse, Ettington Park Hotel, Stratford upon Avon
PUBLISHED: 23:03 28 January 2010 | UPDATED: 14:56 20 February 2013
The motivational skills of Gordon Ramsay and the highest quality ingredients inspire Ettington Park chef Giles Stonehouse to keep pleasing his customers
Name: Giles Stonehouse
Restaurant: Ettington Park Hotel
Address: Ettington Park Hotel, Alderminster, Stratford upon Avon
Tel: 01789 450123
Tell us about your menu.
My menus reflect the seasons. Although we sometimes have to look further afield for our ingredients, I endeavour to use the best available produce sourced locally. The most important thing is that the ingredients are of the highest possible quality.
What's your signature dish?
I don't have one signature dish in particular as the menu is always evolving. However when we get good feedback on a dish, we will keep it on the menu until it is out of season. Keeping our customers happy is key! We are currently receiving rave reviews on our Lamb Sweetbread dish with French Toast.
What chefs do you most admire?
Albert Roux, Anton Mossiman and Roger Verge for their incredible work in bringing fine dining to the general population and Gordon Ramsey for his special motivational skills!
So what made you get into cooking?
I came from a family that believed in having fresh home-cooked food on the table. Nowadays having a French wife helps to keep me on my toes with the cooking at home!
Where did you train?
At the Meridian Piccadilly in London and Le Moulin des Mougins in the South of France.
How would you describe your approach to food?
I get enormous satisfaction from pleasing my customers and I am therefore not 'precious' about what I serve. I go out of my way to meet guests personally to understand their preferences. I also try to meet wedding clients in advance, so that we can discuss their ideas to ensure they are happy with their choice of menu.
Is your personality reflected in your food?
My cooking is more about catering to customer satisfaction than making it a reflection of myself. I try not to be too personal in my approach, although I will use my experience and inspirations to help create a creative and exciting menu.
Best cooking tip for a novice?
Remember that many dishes taste better when they are prepared and cooked in advance. This can be extremely helpful in planning your time before cooking a meal or dinner party.
What is your most memorable meal?
Purely for the food, the meal that is most memorable was at the Lameloise Restaurant in Chagny-en-Bourgogne. It was the first time in years that I had the opportunity to taste completely original dishes and was very stretched to understand how the recipes had been created. For an overall experience, the service at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay was unbelievable
Do you use local suppliers and produce?
Yes - we use Aubrey Allen for the finest quality meat, Lighthorne Lamb, Clives Fruit Farm we also buy from our local Farm Shop, which is just across the road from Ettington Park.
What local products do you value most?
If I had to choose one I would say Lighthorne Lamb.
What is your favourite Cotswold ingredient?
The Apple Juice from Clives Fruit Farm is delicious.
How often is your menu changed?
It is updated seasonally but I may change individual dishes more frequently, depending on popularity and quality and availability of fresh ingredients.
Why should people visit you?
For the overall experience of eating fine food in an exceptional venue.
What's your favourite food to cook with?
Wild mushrooms and other produce that I've picked myself.
What is your favourite Cotswold restaurant?
I like to vary the restaurants I visit, depending on whether I'm eating with my wife or with the kids too. I wouldn't like to favour one particular restaurant.
Ettington Park Hotel is one of Hand Picked Hotels' luxury collection of country house hotels across the UK and Jersey. For more information, visit the website on www.handpicked.co.uk or for reservations call: 0845 458 0901.