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Chef Q&A: Mark Redwood at The Cottage in the Wood

PUBLISHED: 11:18 26 March 2019 | UPDATED: 11:22 26 March 2019

Mark Redwood at 1919 Restaurant, The Cottage in the Wood, Malvern. Photo: Paul Ligas

Mark Redwood at 1919 Restaurant, The Cottage in the Wood, Malvern. Photo: Paul Ligas

Paul Ligas Photography Limited 2018

Mark Redwood of the 1919 Restaurant at The Cottage in the Wood, Malvern enjoys putting together seasonal menus of classic British dishes with a modern twist

Name: Mark Redwood

Restaurant: 1919 Restaurant at The Cottage in the Wood, Malvern

Address: The Cottage in the Wood, Holywell Road, Malvern, WR14 4LG

Tel: 01684 588860

What is your earliest memory of food?

I used to go swimming with my Dad on Sundays and when we got home Mum would have made a roast. It was cold outside, the kitchen windows would have all steamed up and we’d all be starving hungry after swimming and the Sunday Roast was amazing. As I got older I was around in the kitchen on Sundays so I think the Sunday Roast was the first meal I ever cooked with my Mum.

Tell us about your menu.

The menu at The Cottage in the Wood is classic British with a modern twist. Seasons are the main driver for inspiration, we source local fresh ingredients as much as possible and we also pickle and ferment vegetable for use in the winter months. I am really excited with the current menu – I think it is my best menu yet! The pickled Kohlrabi adds a delicious sharpness to the cured duck to start. The lamb breast is slow braised, so it is melt-in-the-mouth tender with a rich glaze - perfect for these winter months.

1919 Restaurant, The Cottage in the Wood, Malvern (c) Paul Ligas Photography1919 Restaurant, The Cottage in the Wood, Malvern (c) Paul Ligas Photography

How often do you change your menu?

Working along with the whole team, we design a new menu for every season. We also have special menus to showcase seasonal produce such as the Evesham Asparagus – so good it deserves its own menu. For special occasions, such as Valentine’s and New Year’s Eve we will create bespoke tasting menu.

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

I’d recommend our signature dish The Cottage Pie. It is not the usual Cottage pie, it’s different and delicious. It’s made with oxtail & beef shin slow braised for 48-hours in black treacle and topped with truffle mash and celeriac crumb. The slow braising breaks down the meat to create a really rich flavour. Perfect after a winter walk on the hills.

How would you describe your approach to food?

I’m very open-minded when it comes to food and I love trying new things. I am always working to improve what I do and enjoy using new techniques to maximise the flavour, for example I will salt-bake, Charr or caramlise celeriac for different flavour finishes or in summer I’ve compressed cucumber in its own juice to maximise the flavour.

What advice would you give to a novice?

Be a sponge – absorb as much as you can and never stop learning.

What’s your favourite local restaurant?

I like the Old Passage...I might be slightly biased because I worked there for nine years before joining The Cottage in the Wood!

Which chef has been your greatest inspiration?

I worked with Tom Kerridge at Painswick hotel. I like his approach to food – offering a simple, relaxed menu at a two-michelin star level. He was one of the first to do it!

Why should people visit you?

The whole experience at The Cottage in the Wood is something special. The views are amazing looking out over the Cotswolds from floor-to-ceiling glass windows. It is high quality food in a relaxed environment with great service. Come visit!

Sample a la carte menu

Starter:

Cured duck, lovage emulsion, pickled Kohlrabi, slow cooked potato, pear, pistachio dukkah £8

Goats curd, salt baked heritage beetroot pink grapefruit, chicory, honeycomb, beetroot £8

Cured pollock, chilli, seaweed, oyster emulsion, blood orange, fennel, dill, hazel nuts £7

Mains:

Charred beef short-rib, mushroom ketchup, parsley puree, artichokes, winter cabbage £22

Roast Cornish cod, crab, braised leeks, shellfish sauce £20

Braised lamb breast, carrot puree, purple sprouting, braised pigs’ cheek, potato terrine £19

Stone bass, celeriac, pommes anna, fennel, prawns, white onion confit, tonka bean sauce £24

The Cottage Pie, black treacle braised oxtail and beef shin, celeriac crumb, truffle mash £19

Dessert:

Dark chocolate crémeux, salt caramel, passion fruit, mango sorbet, honeycomb £10

Lemon curd, fennel meringue, caramelized oats, raspberry sorbet £8

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