Chef Daniel Copcutt, Egypt Mill, Nailsworth

PUBLISHED: 23:00 28 January 2010 | UPDATED: 14:58 20 February 2013

Daniel Copcutt

Daniel Copcutt

Roast saddle of rabbit stuffed with local chorizo - that's certainly not run of the Mill

Name: Daniel Copcutt

Restaurant: Egypt Mill

Address:Nailsworth, Gloucestershire

Tel: 01453 833449

Tell us about your menu.

I think you could describe our menu as fusion based - inspiration from many styles of cuisine. I like to take classic dishes and perhaps put a new twist without detracting too much from its originality. You have to aim to meet all people's palates and offer something different, something exciting but it doesn't have to be always breaking the mould.

How often do you change your menu?

We review and plan our menus seasonally allowing me to design dishes that include all the freshest vegetables, fruit and meat that we can buy. I am lucky to have a fantastic team working with me so between us there are always ideas and new dishes in the 'pipe line'

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

I am pretty biased to all the dishes on the menu but our current menu includes a roast saddle of rabbit stuffed with chorizo sausage which I think with a bottle of Crianza -Montes de Ciria goes down extremely well!

What initiated your interest in cooking?

Without a doubt - my Mum was the biggest influence and introduced me to cooking at a very early age. Looking after all of us kids and putting a good, wholesome meal on the table every day was so important to her and she encouraged me to help and appreciate food. I was cooking roast dinners at the age of seven! (with a little help)

How would you describe your approach to food?

I am not remotely interested in modern food fads - to me it's all about the taste, smell and texture and a dish doesn't have to be expensive to be good. People rave about fillet steak but I personally don't think you can beat a good rib eye or rump.

What advice would you give to a novice?

To be a successful chef comes from the heart - you can teach someone a particular dish but to really succeed as a chef you have to without a doubt, love what you are doing. Reading cookery books are a real inspiration to some and don't give up if it goes wrong - everyone has to start somewhere but the passion to do it in the first place is essential.

What has been your most memorable (or unusual) meal?

Until I was seven I had only eaten Mum's wholesome food but one day my she took me to a Chinese restaurant in Gloucester and that just opened my eyes to the mind boggling tastes, textures and possibilities of food.

Which chef has been your greatest inspiration?

There has to be two and both are previous colleagues of the Mill. Jason Leeming and Richard Johnson both incredible chefs in their own right with such enthusiasm for food and who inspired and gave me the confidence to do the job I do today. If I had to select a celebrity chef it would be Gordon Ramsey. I like his no nonsense approach.

What is your favourite local ingredient?

We use as many as we can at the Mill but if I had to single one out it would be our pork chorizo sausage supplied by the award-winning Champion Sausage, based in Nailsworth. Magnificent.

What is your favourite local restaurant?

With a wife, two beautiful daughters and a busy job I think my ideal way of relaxing would be an evening at Colesbourne Inn, owner/chef Richard Johnson and HKH Chinese Restaurant in Stroud reliving my experience as a seven year old. Unbelievable food.

Why should people visit you?

Egypt Mill has worked extremely hard to earn the reputatation we have today. We don't intend to lose it. We have an excellent front of house and under the guidance of our general manager Rob Aldridge, he makes sure that everything runs smoothly. I can guarantee that if you choose to eat with us you won't be disappointed

What would you recommend about the local area?

Nailsworth is just fantastic. The last few years have seen some of the most exciting businesses arrive and prosper in this relatively small market town. So you can quite easily spend a few hours mooching around and then pop in to Egypt Mill and enjoy Shirley's amazing Steak and Kidney Pudding. 20 years she has been working in the kitchen and she's always smiling - surely that must say something about Egypt Mill.

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