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Restaurant with a story

Chef Patron Daniel Smith's column - Oct 18.

There's always something new to be learned ...

29/10/2018

 Of course, In everyday life there’s always something new to learn as we think about what we want to achieve and wonder how we are going to do that.  In life and as a chef I believe we are always learning and that it is a process that goes on throughout life. It’s important to think about what you want to achieve and try to find somebody who can help inspire you to do it, ideally having achieved it themselves. In everyday life there’s always something new to learn as we think about what we want to achieve and wonder how we are going to do that.  In life and as a chef I believe we are always learning and that it is a process that goes on throughout life. It’s important to think about what you want to achieve and try to find somebody who can help inspire you to do it, ideally having achieved it themselves. 

Chefs are always learning; there always seem to be something new in the kitchen - new ingredients, new techniques, new “gadgets”, new ideas and new people too. Chefs learn from other chefs too who can act as mentors – it’s so important to listen and to learn.  

 I decided I wanted to be a chef from the age of 12 and started turning candy floss and selling ice cream at Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach on Saturdays.  Later, alongside school studies I got to experience the frenetic world of a busy professional kitchen at The Imperial Hotel on the seafront, starting as a Kitchen Hand before going on to study at Great Yarmouth College.  At the age of 18 I got my first big break when I joined the team at the 2-star Michelin restaurant, Le Gavroche in London as Commis Chef and then Chef de Partie where I was lucky to learn so much working alongside “Le Roux” trained chefs.  But I wanted to return to my Norfolk roots and spent 5 years at Morston Hall working with Galton Blackiston before a 10 year career with Animal Inns becoming Executive Chef working across their portfolio of venues before joining lifelong friend and now business partner, Gregory Adjemian, to buy The Ingham Swan followed by The Wildebeest as well as creating Warwick St Social in Norwich’s Golden Triangle . . . and the rest as they say, is history. 

 But I know I’m still learning and still love to spend time with legends of the culinary world whose commitment and dedication to their profession continues to inspire me every day.  Earlier this year, I was lucky to spend time with Clare Smyth and her team at Core in Notting Hill (third in the Top 50 Restaurants 2019 in The Good Food Guide) taking a little bit of Norfolk with me to the big city, and where they share my own passion to create beautiful dishes with the best of British produce sourced from dedicated farmers and food producers. 

I have plans in place to spend time learning from other culinary masters over the coming months but I love working with our own kitchen teams too and hope I can help inspire them to a lifelong love of cooking great food with great ingredients.