Chef Rob Dudley, Cheltenham Regency Hotel,
PUBLISHED: 14:35 07 January 2011 | UPDATED: 15:29 20 February 2013
Rob Dudley tells us about rearing goats and 10-course menus in london
Cheltenham Regency Hotel
Tel: 01452 713226
What is your earliest memory of food?
We were lucky enough to have a large field at the back of our house where we grew most of our own vegetables and raised a few sheep, goats and chickens for their milk eggs and of course for the meat
Tell us about your menu
We have two different dining areas at the Regency. The bar offers classics like beef burgers or sausages and mash, but using the best local produce we can find, for example middle white pork sausages, or longhorn beef for the burgers, whilst in the restaurant we are doing more refined classical fine dining, for example poached turbot with venison osso bucco
How often do you change your menu?
As well as changing seasonally, we try to use each ingredient at its best, so the a la carte menu is really just a template to be changed a regularly. We also create bespoke menus for special events, such our monthly wine club events, which will change every time.
Which dish on the menu would you recommend to a customer?
The open ravioli of crayfish and scallops is a different take on something quite simple, but tastes fantastic, while the loin of lamb with ratatouille and soubise always goes down well
What initiated your interest in cooking?
I worked as a washer upper for a while and was amazed at the happy madness of the chefs, all sweating and shouting, but with a manic gleam in their eyes.
How would you describe your approach to food?
Most of my former head chefs have been British but trained in France or by other French chefs, so this shows in my cooking. Presentation is clean and unfussy, with no flavours that detract from the main part of the dish
What advice would you give to a novice?
Write everything down, work harder than everybody else, always ask questions and push yourself to the front
Have you had any cooking disasters?
The usual problems of over stacked plate stacks falling over and fridges and freezers breaking down at all the wrong moments
What has been your most memorable (or unusual) meal?
A ten course grazing menu at 1837 @ Browns in London
Which chef has been your greatest inspiration?
Andrew Turner, the executive chef from my time at 1837
What is your favourite local ingredient?
Meat from Huntsham Farm at Ross on Wye
What's in your fridge at home
Always the basics of eggs, cheese and ham
What is your favourite local restaurant
I don't eat out that often, but when I do, I like quiet places that do home cooked comfort food, so I can switch off and enjoy my evening
Why should people visit you?
We are welcoming, unpretentious and serve great food!
What would you recommend about the local area?
The Cotswolds is a haven for small producers and farmers and it's well worth the walk around the beautiful countryside to find them
What would you choose for your last meal on earth?
Steak Rossini, expensive red wine and a huge plate of British cheeses