Spanning cultures and continents, Dev Biswal has been cooking in Kent for over a decade. We find out why he is smitten with the region.
Anyone who has dined at The Ambrette in Margate will know that Dev Biswal has an extraordinary talent for crossing cultures in his cuisine; for deftly and elegantly surprising the palate with tastes you never would have thought of yourself. The Ambrette is one of those fine-dining establishments you don’t just visit the once for the drama, but one that draws you back. It’s no wonder that for many it’s a favourite and Dev himself is a humble yet seriously talented chef bringing his own life experiences, rich culinary upbringing and love for Kent produce to the table. With the release of the new Kent Food & Drink Guide, we catch up with Dev to find out why the area is so special to him.
“The culinary journey that has brought me to Kent has been quite a ride, and one that has taught me many things. Growing up in Calcutta, I was exposed to the diversity of Indian cuisine from a very early age. I developed a love for the wholesome, earthy and bold flavours that are created in regional cooking, wherever in the world you may be. I appreciate and admire cooking that takes its inspiration from the landscape around it.
“As a chef, I couldn’t ask for a better artist’s palette than the countryside of Kent; the fields are full of leaves, roots and fruits just waiting to be infused with exotic, aromatic spices. The farms and coastal areas provide access to dramatic centrepieces and the perfect finishing touches, such as the lesser known cuttlefish or foraged sea samphire.
“At The Ambrette, we start with the core ingredient and work our way towards the creation of a dish by blending tastes, textures and techniques from the cuisines of our world. Borders and boundaries are constantly dissolving and food, like all other aspects of human culture, is becoming exceedingly international. I thrive on this and sincerely hope that this multiculturalism will bring people and communities together.
“After all these years in the industry, one thing has become very clear: as a chef, whether a professional or a keen home-cook, the advice to never stop learning couldn’t be more relevant. I love taking time out of the kitchens to speak to diners about the food they are eating, the sourcing of ingredients, and how they can incorporate newly discovered flavours and textures into their own home cooking.”
Take a look at the new Kent food & Drink Guide here, and get ready to be inspired by sampling a plateful from the Garden of England.