Chef Gareth Rufus, The Kings Hotel, Chipping Campden
PUBLISHED: 22:41 28 January 2010 | UPDATED: 08:57 21 February 2013
Head chef at The King Hote, Gareth rufus, believes it's important to listen to the customer - and follow the Mayan calander
Name: Gareth Rufus, Head Chef
Restaurant: The Kings Hotel
Address: The Square, Chipping Campden, Gloucestershire, GL55 6AW
Tel: 01386 840256
What is your earliest memory of food?
When my dad came back from exercise with the RAF - the delight that can be canned, dehydrated and powdered.
Tell us about your menu.
Honest brasserie style, all fresh and a nice taste of Europe.
How often do you change your menu?
The boring answer - seasonally. So I'll say we go by the Mayan calendar - it worked for them so it works for us!
Which dish on the menu would you recommend to a customer?
The customer recommends the dishes; it has to be either the pork belly or the sea bream as we sell tonnes of the stuff.
What initiated your interest in cooking?
Standing at the sink as a kitchen porter watching the chefs pluck victory from the jaws of defeat shift after shift - beautiful.
How would you describe your approach to food?
Flavour - Nature's done the hard work, it just needs enhancing and kept simple.
What advice would you give to a novice?
Blood, sweat and my personal favourite, tears. You have to conquer all these on the learning curve of catering.
Have you ever had any cooking disasters?
Not a disaster, but arriving to work faced with 40 pheasants needing plucking, gutting and portioning before lunch - character building I think!
What has been your most memorable (or unusual) meal?
A seafood bar in Barcelona, we watched the shellfish being unloaded into the kitchen and minutes later arrive at the table - fresh is best!
Which chef has been your greatest inspiration?
My first head chef Tony Farmer, I spent years with him, he encouraged me to research and understand the ingredients we worked with.
What is your favourite local ingredient?
There's so many vegetables grown locally which are all superb but it has to be Lighthorne Lamb.
What's in your fridge at home?
There's not so much room left after all the lager, but there's just enough room for some milk - got to have tea in the morning!
What is your favourite local restaurant?
I haven't really got one, they're all good.
Why should people visit you?
I'm not very good at this question so, why not? It would be a shame to miss out.
What would you recommend about the local area?
You have to see it for yourself - there's something for everyone.
What would you choose for your last meal on earth?
It has to be mine and my son's favourite, Spaghetti Bolognese - you can't go wrong.