Chef Q&A: Pierluigi Putzu, White Hart & The Tilbury
PUBLISHED: 11:35 25 July 2017 | UPDATED: 11:43 25 July 2017
The Bain and Bridges head chef who runs the Welwyn and Datchworth restaurants on his Mediterranean heritage, supporting local producers, and changing diets
Describe your style
My style is very mixed, coming from my Mediterranean background and working in the UK for many years. I always treat my ingredients with respect which is very important in Italian cooking.
How do you decide your menu?
Seasonality is key to start the dish, I then like to take twists on classic dishes using modern techniques and skills. I like fresh and light flavour profiles which are perfect for this summer season.
Do you use Herts producers?
Yes, using local suppliers is important because it helps support other businesses in the community and you get the chance to visit to see how things are produced. We use Bridget B’s in Watton-at-Stone for all of our meat – the beef is of the highest standard.
Which menu dish do you most enjoy preparing?
I love to prepare fish dishes – from prepping the whole fresh fish to making the plate look beautiful.
What ingredient is most important to your cooking?
Extra virgin olive oil. It gives richness to every ingredient.
Who did you train under and what did they teach you?
Paolo Cappuccio, executive chef of the hotel and restaurant Hermitage in Madonna di Campiglio, Italy. He taught me most of my knowledge and we have worked together for many years on and off in Sardinia, France and Italy. He taught me the important basics like how to be clean and tidy to more complex techniques and cooking styles.
Prediction for the next food trend?
As a chef we need to be very thoughtful to cater to diets and intolerances as this is becoming more prolific and the general public are more aware of what they can eat. I see this as an enjoyable challenge as I have to be more creative with certain restrictions. Healthy food is something as an Italian I was brought up with, so to create great tasting healthy dishes comes naturally to me.
What’s in your fridge at home?
Salad, tomatoes and garlic bread.
Favourite quick meal?
Pasta with whatever fresh produce I have to hand, preferably cherry tomatoes.
Top three tips for amateur cooks?
Be clean and tidy.
Stick to seasonal produce.
Meat and Fois Gras by Paolo Cappuccio.