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Chef Q&A: Jon Oates

PUBLISHED: 11:30 12 May 2014 | UPDATED: 11:55 12 May 2014

Terrine is a speciality at the Three Tunns

Terrine is a speciality at the Three Tunns

Archant

The head chef at The Three Tunns in Ashwell gives an insight into his cooking

Describe your style. 
Modern British with eclectic European influences. I like to add some fun and personality to the plate without neglecting the all important taste of the dish.

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How do you decide your menu? 
I look at what’s in season and what’s available locally especially on the game front to creat a blend of good quality comfort food and more complex dishes with a twist.

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What Herts producers do you use? 
Crumps the butchers in Ashwell for most of our meat and Days of Ashwell for our bread, baked daily about 100 meters away. Wobbly Bottom Farm in Hitchin for our goats cheese and all our other cheese from Toby Archer at The Cheese plate in Buntingford. Glendale Game provides us with venison and rabbits. Stickleback is a family-run Hertfordshire fishmonger we use. And Nick Karen, a village resident, is growing us potatoes, strawberries and tomatoes.

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Which menu dish do you most enjoy preparing? 
Currently, the Ashwellian rabbit, foie gras and wild mushroom terrine (pictured). There is nothing I enjoy more than the process of making a good terrine through to the finished product. It takes me back to my commis chef days.

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What ingredient is most important to you? 
Butter, butter and butter! Salt and sugar come a close second. If any chef says otherwise, they’re not worth their salt.

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What’s been your best culinary idea? 
I couldn’t pick one but on our current menu the dessert five reasons to love chocolate has won many fans locally and has started to pop up on other pub menus in the area.

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Who did you train under and what did they teach you? 
Nick Wilson at The Walnut Club in the Peak District. Nick taught me if it’s not 100 per cent right, it is wrong, as well as modern cooking techniques, good flavours and the importance of presentation.

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Whats your prediction for the next food trend? 
Scandanavian influences are growing, with more curing and pickling appearing on menus. It looks like the smokey, grilled food trend is sticking around and expect to see more vegetables appearing in deserts.

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What’s in your fridge at home? 
Can I say gin? Bloom gin and fevertree tonic for the evening and fresh orange juice for the morning.

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Favourite quick meal? 
Smoked mackerel salad.

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Top tips for young chefs? 
Be prepared, Listen. Work clean.

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Best cook book? 
Black Pudding and Foie Gras by Andrew Pern.

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