Member of the Month September 2021: Gareth Howarth

The  Staff Canteen

Here at The Staff Canteen, we feature a different member every month we think deserves to be celebrated - this month’s winner is Gareth Howarth

As thanks for being a regular contributor to The Staff Canteen, Gareth will receive an item of TSC merch of his choosing and will be entered in our Member of the Year 2021 competition. The Staff Canteen Member of the Month feature is brought to you in association with Major.

1.Current place of work, position

Executive head chef at The Haughmond, Upton Magna 

2) What is your cooking style and what should people expect from your food?

Working in the heart of Shropshire, I am fortunate to have great produce & local suppliers just on my doorstep; this really helps inspire which seasonal produce I use on the menu. With my background lending itself to classical French techniques and my interest in Mediterranean cuisine, guests can expect refined dishes that are eye-catching and diverse.

Financier, blackberry, apple, lemon verbena, almond tuile

3) What is your favourite dish to cook and why?

I really enjoy preparing and cooking rabbit. I find it to be a very underrated product especially as every cut of the rabbit has its own interesting flavour & cooking technique. This in itself tests the skill and execution of a chef. That’s why I chose to do it on Masterchef The Professionals to get through to the Semi Finals 2017.

Currently we have Rabbit on our tasting menu: rabbit loin wrapped in pancetta, walnut crusted Rack, Leg & whole grain mustard ‘bonbon’, offal vinaigrette served with carrot & kale.

4) Name a food item/dish/ingredient that isn't considered "cheffy" but that you love to eat

My go-to is always pasta; it’s real comfort food and you can be as adventurous as you want to be with it.

Trout, dill, fennel, passion fruit & lavosh

5) What do you like about The Staff Canteen app and website?

It’s a great platform to keep up to date with everything that is going on in the hospitality industry, whether it’s an article or pictures of dishes chefs have created there is always something interesting going on.

6) What are your plans for the future?

Having originally come from Shrewsbury, Shropshire, my wife Stephanie and I jumped at the opportunity to return and join the The Haughmond. Last year we achieved 3 AA rosettes and are looking to build on that momentum. I am constantly looking to challenge myself, evolve new dishes, develop team members and discover exciting local produce.

Banana, peanut, polenta, fudge, lime

7) Of all the places you've worked and positions you've held, which was your most formative? what is the most important lesson you've learned as a chef?

It’s really hard for me to just mention one, as I have been fortunate to work with many talented chefs over the years. For example, Andre Garrett at Cliveden House, Berkshire when I was CDP gave me my appreciation and understanding of French cuisine.

3 years at L’Ortolan, Berkshire was my first senior role in a 1 Michelin star establishment. This is where I learnt to manage a brigade, it was also my first chance to have a strong input on the menu. Most recently I was acting executive head chef at 1 Michelin Star Gidleigh Park, Devon, where I learnt the multiple and varied demands of a flagship hotel with a history of excellence.

The most important lessons I've learned have been working alongside my wife as Front of House manger in a number of different properties. Doing so has taught me the importance to respect both sides of the business in order to achieve a better guest experience and a smooth running service.  

Guinea fowl, carrot, walnut, kale & foie gras jus

 

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 4th October 2021

Member of the Month September 2021: Gareth Howarth