6 ISSUES FOR £6 Subscribe to Hertfordshire Life today click here

Chef Q&A: Oliver D’Arcy, The George IV

PUBLISHED: 10:30 27 February 2017 | UPDATED: 10:30 27 February 2017

Ollie

Ollie

SHEASYS

Owner and head chef of the Great Amwell pub and restaurant discusses the versatility of game, seasoning with thyme and a shift from classic to modern techniques

Sea breamSea bream

Describe your style

A modern, innovative British cuisine that incorporates influences from around the world.

How do you decide your menu?

The menu is created in line with the seasons to ensure availability of fresh ingredients from our suppliers while allowing the flexibility to prepare a variety of ‘special’ dishes.

What Herts producers do you use?

Long-standing relationships with local suppliers ensure we have quality produce delivered daily. Our fruit and veg is from Sparshotts in St Albans, fish from Marrfish in Bishop’s Stortford, and our butcher, Direct Meat, just over the county boundary in Essex. The Cheese Plate in Buntingford always provide a selection of excellent cheese.

Which menu dish do you most enjoy preparing?

While I enjoy preparing most dishes on our varied and seasonally changing menu, the game season – with venison, grouse or pheasant offering such versatility – is particularly enjoyable. Attention to detail in preparation is crucial to delivering consistency of service to customers.

What ingredient is most important to your cooking?

Every chef would say salt for its ability to enhance flavour but I do use thyme as it gives depth to the dishes and sauces.

Your best culinary idea?

The independence of running my own restaurant allows the freedom required to be creative and provides an opportunity for our young team to construct dishes that our guests can enjoy. This is a challenging and competitive industry but by retaining passion and enthusiasm in the kitchen, the result is clearly reflected in the food presented.

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

Having graduated from the renowned Westminster College, I continued learning my trade under Phil Thompson at Auberge du Lac, who not only taught me about flavour combinations but how to extract the maximum use from any food product, which I know will serve me well in business. Sous chef Alex Bond, who joined from Sat Bains, influenced me in the change from classic to modern techniques and allowed my own style to evolve.

the next food trend?

The demand for tapas style or ‘small plate’ food has been growing and will be around for the next couple of years. I believe Middle Eastern food is also influencing our dishes. Whatever the food trend, maintaining high standards will be the key to longevity.

Quick grill

What’s in your fridge at home?

Coconut water and mum’s lamb stew to keep me going. Like most chefs, the last person you cook for is yourself.

Favourite quick meal?

Chicken stir fry – very quick.

Top three tips for amateur cooks?

1. Write everything down - recipe, prep list and method.

2. Season – taste – season - taste.

3. You’ve got to be a beginner before you can be anything else.

Best cookbook?

Larousse Gastronomique

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

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

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

Saturday, April 22, 2017

The chef-proprietor at the St Albans restaurant and bar on sourcing locally, the importance of citrus, and beef dripping triple-cooked chips

Read more
Tuesday, April 18, 2017

A great treat - rich, crunchy and seriously smooth with a hint of mint

Read more
Thursday, April 13, 2017

Join the Vine Leaves in Harpenden for some vino and a three course dinner

Read more
Monday, April 10, 2017

A St Albans ‘spirits boutique’ has teamed up with a prestigious rum producer to give Herts a taste of the Caribbean

Read more
April 2017
Monday, April 3, 2017

With a confident and innovative menu, a chef-run pub in Great Amwell attracts a happy throng. Photography Brian Arnopp

Read more
April 2017
Friday, March 31, 2017

The Cheese Shed has a luxury Abundance hamper up for grabs

Read more
Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Perfect for a pre-cinema bite to eat.

Read more
Monday, March 27, 2017

Food and drink editor Richard Cawthorne finds a Sunday meat treat in a former Bishop’s Stortford brewery

Read more
March 2017

Ad Feature: The Oak

Friday, March 24, 2017

Craig & Sarah Oakley’s new venue The Oak specialises in fresh fish & seafood from the Cornish coast...

Read more
Thursday, March 23, 2017

Enjoy a tagliata steak and chips with a glass of wine or bottle of beer for £15.90.

Read more

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Job search in your local area




Local Business Directory

Hertfordshire's trusted business finder

Search For a Car In Your Area

Property Search