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Chef Q&A: Ales Maurer, The Lygon Arms, Broadway

PUBLISHED: 01:16 22 October 2011 | UPDATED: 21:39 20 February 2013

Ales Maurer, Photograph credit: Miguel de La Cueva

Ales Maurer, Photograph credit: Miguel de La Cueva

Ales Maurer of The Lygon Arms Hotel is happy to give credit to the women in his family for his love of cooking.

Chef Q&A: Ales Maurer, The Lygon Arms, Broadway



Ales Maurer of The Lygon Arms Hotel is happy to give credit to the women in his family for his love of cooking.



Name: Ales Maurer, senior sous chef


Restaurant: The Great Hall at The Lygon Arms Hotel


Address: High street, Broadway, WR12 7DU; Tel: 01386 852255



What is your earliest memory of food?



From my grandmother. She was a cook in a local school. She had only the basic ingredients, but always made a great-tasting dish.



Tell us about your menu.



Its a variety of English dishes put together by our skilled team of chefs using their imaginative flair. Our menu has been designed by our guests for our guests.



How often do you change your menu?



We have an la carte menu which changes with the seasons. We also have a table dhte menu which changes every day, so its a good way to use the seasonal produce that is always on offer in the Cotswolds.



Which dish on the menu would you recommend to a customer?



Starter: Crisp open ravioli of puy lentils, herb-cured bacon, autumn mushrooms and chestnuts, black vinegar and truffle dressing.



Main: Duo of Lighthorne lamb, slow-cooked shoulder and roasted cushion, flavour of Jerusalem artichoke and caramelised fig jus.



Dessert: A plate of Lygon garden apple with clotted cream ice cream.



What initiated your interest in cooking?



I learned a lot from the women in my family; they are all great cooks and always serve a great family meal.



How would you describe your approach to food?



Simple, yet interesting. Always trying to bring the best out of ingredients by appreciating their flavours and doing what works well together.



What advice would you give to a novice?



You have to be serious and passionate about choosing to be a chef as a career. It involves hard work, determination and very long, unsociable hours, but it can be extremely rewarding, especially at the end of a busy Saturday night service.



Have you ever had any cooking disasters?



I have one memory from when I was a commis. We were delivering canaps for an outside function for 400 people when the bottom of the box fell through! We managed to get them made again on time, with the help from everyone in the hotel thankfully.



What has been your most memorable meal?



I once went to a small family-run restaurant in Portland. I had 72-hour braised beef, olive oil mash & balsamic red onions. It was so simple yet full of flavour.



Which chef has been your greatest inspiration?



There are many talented chefs in the country and I believe you can learn something from all of them. I also take inspiration from the people I work with every day, especially one chef, Mr Gill, who has been in the kitchen at the Lygon Arms for 38 years. He has seen a lot.



What is your favourite local ingredient?



It has to be asparagus from the Vale of Evesham. I love the hype that comes with it and the way that it is celebrated; it is a great tradition. Also, our gardener Stewart grows fantastic beetroot.



What is in your fridge at home?



Cured meats, salamis and different types of local cheese: something quick for when I come late from work.



What is your favourite local restaurant?



The Fleece Inn, Bretforton, for its comfort food and relaxed atmosphere.



Why should people visit you?



To have an exceptional fine dining experience in a two AA-rosette restaurant full of history, charm and romance. For guests to celebrate their special occasion or romantic getaway.



What would you recommend about the local area?



Get out and enjoy the Cotswold countryside at its best: the walks and the scenery, and sample some cream teas.



What would you choose for your last meal on earth?



My mums slow-roasted pork belly and braised cabbage.



Sample dinner menu:



Starters



Potted duck and rabbit with sticky walnuts, bramble jelly and toasted sour dough



Twice-baked cheddar and honey-roasted parsnip souffl with a warm chestnut cream



A pinwheel of salmon on a mild curry spiced sabayon, fennel and apple marmalade



Mains



Loin of venison, cranberry and apple chutney, flavour of parsnip and sherry thyme jus



Pan fried fillet of halibut, tomato and saffron bouillabaisse, lemon infused virgin rapeseed oil



Terrine of Ragstone goats cheese, butternut squash and garden rosemary. Confit fennel and glazed carrots



Desserts



Dark chocolate and cardamom souffl, hazelnut biscotti and crme fraiche sorbet



Lygon garden pear financier, croissant ice cream



Irish coffee crme brule, walnut and oatmeal cookies



http://www.barcelo-hotels.co.uk/hotels/central-england/barcelo-the-lygon-arms-hotel-cotswolds



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