Chef Q&A: Ivor Morgan, The Sheene Mill
PUBLISHED: 13:23 10 August 2015 | UPDATED: 13:57 10 August 2015
The head chef at the Melbourn restaurant (nr Royston), opens the door into his kitchen
Describe your style. Modern British using classic and modern techniques, but keeping it simple, tasty, fresh and flavoursome.
How do you decide your menu? When I am writing our menus I always try to use the most seasonal produce available, then I think about the combination of flavours and textures, and lastly I think about how it might look on the plate - but that always changes, that’s the fun of cooking.
Which local suppliers do you use? One of my suppliers is Daveys in Meldreth. It’s one of the butchers I use, the reason being the owner Russell is local to the area and well known for his good local produce and knowledge, he is also reasonably priced.
What menu dish do you most enjoy preparing? I enjoy preparing most of the dishes on the menu but the one I enjoy the most would be the lamb rump with sweet breads, charred onion, fresh broad beans, feta cheese and light lamb jus. Lamb is one of my favourite meats because of its simplicity and the combinations of flavours and cooking techniques.
What ingredient is most important to your cooking? I think the most important ingredient to all cooking is salt because it enhances the flavours of the ingredients.
Who did you train under and what did they teach you? I’ve been lucky enough to have worked with some great chefs throughout my career and each of them has taught me many different styles, techniques and skills. I was taught very early on in my career how to put flavours together, to keep things in season, and to work as a team because you are only as good as the people behind you. One of the most valuable things I have learnt is to pass on my passion to others who want to learn.
What’s been your best culinary idea? Because I am a person that enjoys cooking, for me its not about my best culinary idea, it’s about trying to improve my skills, knowledge and techniques and also staying up to date with food trends.
Prediction for the next food trend? Food trends are ever evolving but I see a lot more foraging ingredients and home made preserves coming through on menus, also I think we see a lot more locally sourced meats and game as there are so many little companies in and around Hertfordshire that are producing great ingredients.
What in your fridge at home? I don’t have a great amount in my fridge, but I always try to keep some cheese and charculterie for when I get home late at night.
Favourite quick meal? Chilli con carne.
Top three tips for amateur cooks? 1. When following a recipe always read it through in full before you start making it. 2. Relax and enjoy what your cooking. 3. Always use a sharp knife.
Best cookbook? Over the years I have collected so many good cookbooks I don’t think I could choose a favourite but if I was going to choose an all-rounder I would have to say Escoffier - The Complete Guide to the Art of Modern Cookery.