The Chilterns is a vast area, home to numerous exemplary bars, restaurants, bistros, cafes, and everything in-between. One such great establishment is the five-star Auberge du Lac, which forms part of Brocket Hall Estate, and is home to esteemed head chef Matthew Edmonds.
Having worked in more than one AA rosetted restaurant, Matt cooks with finesse, creating exemplary cuisine that showcases the season’s offering, is delicious, and looks beautiful. In line with the launch of our new Chilterns Guide, we caught up with Matt to discuss how the area inspires him as a chef.
‘There has always been something special about the Chilterns for me. When deciding to move out of London, I felt a real pull to this area – without meaning to sound like a cliché, it’s the greenness that first attracted me, followed by the area’s fantastic choice of restaurants and pubs.
‘I feel very fortunate that I get to call the Chilterns my home and place of work now. As I write this, I am enjoying the most stunning views from our restaurant, Auberge du Lac, in the Brocket Hall Estate. Later, I plan to head out into the Estate to pick some fresh ingredients for tonight’s menu – where could you do that in London?
‘Being able to forage, quite literally on my doorstep, was a major plus point when deciding where to live and work. During my free time, I love taking my two boys out into the local countryside to look for and learn about ingredients – I think it’s so important that we understand and appreciate where the food we enjoy comes from. It’s not something that’s really focused on in schools, so I make a point to educate my kids about it, and more importantly, get them excited about it too.
‘My inspiration for the dishes we create at Auberge du Lac comes from what I see when I’m out and about, and what I see when I visit my local and trusted suppliers. I like to get to know my suppliers, talk to them about their experiences, listen to their advice – after all, they’re the experts in what they’re supplying and I learn something new every time I speak with them or head out into a field to meet them.
‘As much as I love roaming the countryside though, I also love the fact that the Chilterns offers a contrasting town life, too. It’s the best of both worlds, and I certainly make the most of having so many options available to me. That includes enjoying the vast array of restaurants, pubs and farmers’ markets in the area – in fact, I often plan walks with my family solely around food. The quality of food and drink on offer in the area is outstanding – we seem to find a new favourite venue each time we head out.
‘I’ve lived in the area for nine years; there’s so much to discover here, and I for one, am going to take my time to enjoy discovering every little corner – as long as that discovery involves food, of course. I hope you’ll use this year’s Chilterns Food & Drink Guide to discover some new favourites of your own.’