We caught up with admired chef Jonathan Edwards of Cae Court Hotel, and got his takes on the best season for Great British food, why everyone loves a chef, and even top macaroon tips.
Jonathan’s passion for food began when he was little, and used to forage mushrooms and berries with his uncle. His mother was a cracking baker and his grandfather created British classics at his own pub, which sparked Jonathan’s love of cooking. He spent three years working at Michelin-starred restaurant, The Harrow at Little Bedwyn, alongside Roger Jones, who taught him everything he knows about cooking fresh, seasonal produce.
Now, Jonathan brings his extraordinary talent to The Eaves Restaurant at Cae Court Hotel. Putting his skills to the test, he develops unique dishes that are as seasonal, fresh and local as possible. He’s always keeping his eyes peeled for new suppliers to work with and if he sees something he likes, he’ll get in touch. Jonathan and his passionate brigade have big plans in the pipeline; they’re deﬁnitely ones to watch.
What/who inspired you to become a chef?
“My Grandfather inspired me to cook, seeing him working in his pub creating British classics and also foraging with my uncle for mushrooms and berries. My mother is awesome at home baking, so food has always played a big part of my life.”
Where did you train?
“I’m mostly self-taught but spent three years working with Roger Jones of the michelin-starred Harrow Little Bedwyn learning about cooking fresh seasonal produce and wine pairing.”
Which section of the kitchen do you most like working on?
“I love every section in the kitchen but I have a real soft spot for pastry. You can really show off and express yourself.”
What do you enjoy most about being a chef?
“I am a bit of show off and I love pleasing people. Being a chef you get an enormous sense of pride serving top class food. Everyone loves good food, everyone loves a Chef!”
Have you or your restaurant won any awards or received any notable accolades?
“We aim to get AA Rosettes in 2018. We are a new team with lots of passion and experience, with big plans for the future.”
Which chefs have inspired you most?
“Roger Jones has inspired me the most. His style is simple and clean, and he is very innovative. Lots of chefs inspire me such as Thomas Heller, Marco Pierre White, Matt Moran. The list is huge but I always look to see what’s new with them.”
In terms of produce, what do you like most about the local area?
“We source meat and fish locally, from our Welsh black beef to our Turbot. Herbs are foraged and seasonal.”
How do you go about choosing suppliers?
“Suppliers come to us with samples and we road test them before choosing to use them or not. Looking on Twitter to see who’s using what. If I see something I like, I’ll get in touch. We did this to source our new butcher.”
As a chef, what is your favourite time of year?
“Autumn, without question. I love all the game and vegetables. I cook for comfort in this season and I like to introduce customers to new ingredients. Grouse is the new one next.”
What is your favourite seasonal ingredient?
“I absolutely love Grouse. It’s season is 12th August – 1st September. We serve it with Kale, sticky Dates, Buckshot Consommé and Game chips. We slow cook the legs and oven roast the crowns.”
In a few words, how would you define good food?
“Clean, seasonal, fresh and local as possible.”
Finally, please provide a top cooking top tip for our readers…
“When making macarons, allow the shells to form a skin before cooking, and open the oven every four minutes when baking to allow the steam to dissipate.”