Chef Q&A: John Footman, The Hotel, Cheltenham
PUBLISHED: 11:24 19 May 2011 | UPDATED: 19:24 20 February 2013
What does a busy chef eat in the wee small hours after a long, busy shift in the kitchen? For John Footman of The Hotel it has to be fresh pasta straight from the fridge
Name: John Footman
Restaurant: The Hotel
Address: 38 Evesham Road, Cheltenham
Tel: 01242 518898
What is your earliest memory of food?
Having been brought up with my grandparents, my passion for food stemmed from this time when I was surrounded by fresh produce from our garden and good, home-cooked food.
Tell us about your menu?
Its Modern British with a French influence. The menu is built around the seasons and trying to source and use the best local produce available.
How often do you change your menu?
The menu is seasonal, which can be weekly, depending on produce availability.
Which dish on the menu would you recommend to a customer?
Roast fillet of long horn beef and braised cheek, pomme Anna, cauliflower pure, roasted ceps and red wine jus.
What initiated your interest in cooking?
Definitely my upbringing at my grandparents house.
How would you describe your approach to food?
Having respect for ingredients and trying not to mess with them too much. This produces the best possible flavours (nature is the artist).
What advice would you give to a novice?
Always try to obtain the best quality ingredients, and when cooking sometimes the simplest things are the best.
Have you ever had any cooking disasters?
Many minor things such as forgetting to put salt in bread, splitting lemon tarts, burning many things such as myself we are all human after all.
What has been your most memorable (or unusual) meal?
Trips to Le Manoir aux Quatsaison as it offers the total package: food, service, atmosphere What do you expect when its driven by someone who is as creative and passionate as Raymond Blanc?
Which chefs have been your greatest inspiration?
Raymond Blanc and Simon Haigh.
What is your favourite local ingredient?
Whats in your fridge at home?
Fresh pasta (its a quick meal for the early hours of the morning after work).
What is your favourite local restaurant?
Lords of the Manor.
Why should people visit you?
We have had some fantastic feedback from people who have already dined with us, comparing us to a number of top restaurants in the UK.
What would you recommend about the local area?
The amazing local produce.
What would you choose for your last meal on earth?
Traditional roast dinner cooked by my mother-in-law
Confit fillet of Loch Duart salmon, pickled radishes, beetroot, wasabi cream
Diver caught scallops with crispy pork belly butternut squash pure, peanut emulsion (Supplement 5)
Pumpkin risotto, roasted chestnut, trompet mushrooms, truffle cream (V)
Pan fried fillet of day boat lemon sole, cockles, clams, parsnip pure, ratte
potatoes, turkey jus
Roasted breast of Magret duck, fondant potato, braised chicory, bok choi, foie gras, port jus
Loin of Gloucestershire Old Spot pork, confit belly, bean cassoulet, quince and vanilla puree, curly kale, black pudding, pork jus
Conte cheese ravioli, caramelized baby onions, roasted sweetcorn, wild mushrooms, sweetcorn veloute(V)
Chocolate tart, poached figs, blackcurrant and vanilla puree, grue de cacao, fig and port ice cream
Warm blackberry and apple, toasted marshmallow, iced vanilla parfait, chestnut pure
Selection of English and French cheeses, homemade chutney and biscuits (supp 8)
3-course dinner 39.95