CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Hertfordshire Life today CLICK HERE

Chef Q&A: Claude Paillet, Bricklayers Arms

PUBLISHED: 12:01 31 October 2015 | UPDATED: 16:37 10 November 2015

Charcuterie board, Bricklayers Arms

Charcuterie board, Bricklayers Arms


The executive chef at the Flaunden country dining pub gives an insight into his kitchen

Scallops, Bricklayers ArmsScallops, Bricklayers Arms

Describe your style

Traditional French with a British twist.

How do you decide your menu?

Daily impulse with knowledge of the market and seasonal produce availability.

Do you use Herts producers?

We buy as much as we can daily from local suppliers. Among them are Langley Butchers in Kings Langley who source good quality local meat and Game Direct of Great Missenden for local seasonal game. Our honey is from Kings Langley and we source seasonal fruits and vegetables from local farmers. We also go to Covent Garden market once a week to look at new seasonal products. Our fish supplier, Browns Seafoods, emails us direct from the boat every evening to let us know fish availability from the day’s catch.

Which menu dish do you most enjoy preparing?

I particularly like preparing fish dishes. When we receive fresh fish in the morning it’s a challenge and exciting to source the right ingredients from the vegetable market to make a new daily special with just a few hours to go before the service. Also, starters are always fun to work with as we can play a lot with colours and textures.

What ingredient is most important to your cooking and why?

The egg – such a simple ingredient and so very versatile

What’s been your best culinary idea?

We started smoking our fish 11 years ago from an old steamer oven that was out of use. We use oak or apple wood to do the smoking as the smoke naturally sweetens the fish and we brine our fish only with rosemary sea salt and sugar (no preservatives). In a few weeks, we are looking forward to receiving a new smoker designed and made by local craftsmen in oak and ironwork.

Who did you train under and what did they teach you?

A French chef in France called André Chatelard taught me everything I know, from chocolate making to butchery and food techniques.

What’s your prediction for the next food trend?

Chefs are focusing more on meat cuts that have fallen out of use – like using dairy cows. As they are older and well fed, they have great flavour but have a chewy texture if cooked in a traditional way. Therefore we cook these differently using slow cooking or flash grilling. I make an effort to use British ingredients and revisit old British dishes that I present for 21st-century tastes.


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Hertfordshire visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Hertfordshire staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Hertfordshire account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Food & Drink

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Indulge in the very best of pub classics every Wednesday night at The Black Horse.

Read more
Friday, November 2, 2018

It’s that time of year again and we have our special T-BONE steak offer!

Read more
Wednesday, October 31, 2018

A trailblazer nearly 30 years ago, this Hertford Thai restaurant is on the cusp of reinvention

Read more
November 2018
Tuesday, October 30, 2018

If you don’t fancy slaving over a hot fire this year, head to one of these restaurants for a festive feast on Christmas Day

Read more
Tuesday, October 23, 2018

A warming bonfire night snack, easy and delicious and full of autumn flavour

Read more
October 2018
Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Make the most out of autumn with these eight walking routes that take in a variety of Hertfordshire’s terrains and - most importantly – have a cosy pub along the way

Read more
Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Pulled and rolled Jacob’s ladder with potato, carrot and leek cake, roasted baby leeks and veal jus

Read more
October 2018
Thursday, October 11, 2018

Auberge du Lac opened its doors in 1998 and we are inviting you to celebrate the restaurants fabulous history on Wednesday 28th November.

Read more
Monday, October 8, 2018

Buntingford gains a new 28-cover fine-dining restaurant with the opening of the Falcon

Read more
October 2018
Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Christmas at the Tilbury from 23rd November to 29th December.

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Local Business Directory

Search For a Car In Your Area

Property Search