Man Behind the Chef: Russell Bateman

The  Staff Canteen

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In the build up to The Staff Canteen Live 2017 - supported by Westlands, at the International Food and Drink Event (IFE) 2017, we are taking a closer look at the chefs who will be joining us on stage.

We dig a little deeper to find out what they are hiding under those chef whites - next up is Russell Bateman, National Chef of the Year 2015 and head chef at Colette’s at The Grove which has three rosettes in the AA Restaurant Guide.

Growing up in West London around his grandparents’ freshly baked bread, brewed ale and crisp garden vegetables was enough to spark Russell Bateman’s interest in cooking.

Russell began working part time for Stephen Scuffell at Mediterranean restaurant Tutto! whilst completing his course at catering college, before soon heading to Harrods in Knightsbridge.

Since then Russell has worked under many notable chefs including Marcus Wareing, Marc Veyrat, Gordon Ramsay and Daniel Clifford, to name a few. All of whom, he says, have helped him better his understanding of food, cooking and shape his own unique style.

By 2015, Russell was named National Chef of the Year by The Craft Guild of Chefs. He is now head chef at the esteemed three AA rosettes restaurant Colette’s at The Grove, Hertfordshire.

Russell Bateman
Russell Bateman

What item of food do you hate cooking?

I can’t think of an item that I’d actually buy that I don’t like to cook. There are plenty that I wouldn’t buy though, one that I hate to see the most is dredged scallops. Everything about them is wrong. I just wouldn’t entertain them.

What food, if any, are you allergic to?

No allergies, thank God. Although I did have a coeliac scare. I went one month without gluten, as the doctor told me I had too. I hated every minute of it.

>>> Read more in The Behind The Chef series here

What’s your favourite ingredient to work with?

I love Apples, I find them hugely versatile. Whether you want a fresh crunch, acidity, sweetness, they’re great for savoury and sweet dishes alike. I use them so much and it’s great that we grow the best varieties in the world here in England. We get some fantastic varieties from our garden but failing that, Brogdale estate in Kent is incredible for variety and history.

What’s your guilty pleasure food?

Tea, definitely tea, I drink loads of it, I’ve always got a cup of tea on the go.

What three ingredients would you take with you to a desert island and why?

Water, for obvious reasons, a whole pig, I could cure some parts and it would last me longer. Apples because they’re great with pork and will probably go with whatever shellfish I could find for off the coast.

If you weren’t a chef what would you be?

A stay at home dad.

What radio station do you listen to in the kitchen?

No radio in the kitchen but if I did It would be Radio X or SOHO Radio.

What other kitchen would you most like to work in?

Faviken, Arpege or Astrance. Failing that, one day my own.

Traditional cooking methods or modern techniques?

I cook with a combination of both, I suppose it’s not something I get hung up about. We don’t use any chemicals in our food. We concentrate on ingredients more than whether it’s modern or on trend.

Why did you choose to get involved with TSC Live?

I love to cook and show people what we are all about and share my food with as many as possible. It’s a great way to interact with the industry and always great fun. TSCLive always has a great line up so it’s brilliant to see and catch up with old friends.

>>> IFE takes place on March 19-22, 2017 and you can register now here 

>>> Read more about The Staff Canteen Live here

>>> Read more about The Staff Canteen Live 2017 at IFE 2017

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 28th February 2017

Man Behind the Chef: Russell Bateman