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Chef Q&A: Peter Knight, Aubrey Park Hotel

PUBLISHED: 18:01 08 June 2015 | UPDATED: 18:37 08 June 2015

Lemon tart

Lemon tart

Leon Day Images

The executive chef at The Brasserie, Aubrey Park Hotel, Redbourn opens the door into his kitchen

Mackeral escabecheMackeral escabeche

Describe your style. Classic British Food with a French twist.

How do you decide your menu? My team and I look at what produce is in season and develop each new dish. We run a tasting session with the larger hotel team for feedback on flavours and taste prior to launching the menu.

Do you use Hertfordshire producers? I always try to use local produce when possible as we are lucky enough to be part of a community rich in fresh ingredients.

Which menu dish do you most enjoy preparing? I like working with lamb in the spring. It’s light yet full of flavour and is a great change from the heavier meats of the previous months. We’ve a great dish – duo of English spring lamb – on our menu now and it’s incredibly popular.

What ingredient is most important to your cooking? Butter. It enriches both sauces and dishes. When people cook at home butter is often replaced with a healthier alternative – eating out is the time to indulge in little luxuries.

Who did you train under and what did they teach you? I trained with Ian Penn and Mark Flanagan. They taught me how to cook classically and that passion is the secret ingredient in all winning dishes.

Next food trend prediction? Lots of al fresco dining – fish dishes enjoyed with salad and wine.

What’s in your fridge at home? Fruit and vegetables, I eat a lot of salad in the spring and summer with lighter meals such as jacket potatoes.

Favourite quick meal? Spaghetti carbonara with chicken.

Top three tips for amateur cooks? Listen to your heart, Learn as much as you can, and read plenty of cookery books – knowledge is everything.

Best ever cookbook? The French Laundry Cookbook by Thomas Keller, a birthday present from my parents.

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