We caught up with award-winning chef Alan Hill, about the importance of knowing where your food comes from, eating locally and the beautiful landscapes of Derbyshire which Alan calls home.
‘What a county Derbyshire is. I live, breathe and cook here, and wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s easy to take this glorious part of the UK for granted, but whenever I stop to take a break from the daily grind I’m reminded why the Peak District National Park is the most visited in Britain.’
‘Visitors ﬂock here to experience the great outdoors, with its stunning landscapes at every turn, historic houses and gardens, and picturesque villages where time seems to stand still – but we locals are just as charmed by it all.’
Much of Alan’s career so far has centred around the stunning Peak District he speaks so fondly of. Last year, Alan assumed the role of head chef at the prestigious, award-winning Cavendish Hotel in Baslow. In an area so full of natural beauty, great food and produce isn’t hard to find.
‘Surely one of the most important elements when exploring a new part of the world is discovering great food and drink. The variety of choice in Derbyshire grows year on year, forming a vital part of our economy and adding to our credentials as a holiday hotspot.
‘In almost every corner of the county you’ll ﬁnd farm shops, local markets and food and drink festivals, adding variety to our foodie offering. Fantastic breweries, cheesemakers and the famous Bakewell pudding all ﬂy the ﬂag for Derbyshire.’
The Cavendish Hotel on the Chatworth estate offers stunning views of the Derbyshire countryside, and a double AA rosette restaurant.
‘Here at the Chatsworth Estate we’re lucky enough to have our own estate-reared lamb, venison and game. I get to cherry-pick from a number of really excellent growers and producers and see the beneﬁts in my own kitchen.’
On recreating these benefits in your own home, Alan stressed to us the importance of knowing where your food comes from in ensuring great results.
‘I urge everyone when shopping to use their local butcher, ﬁshmonger, baker and fruit stall. Quiz them about the provenance and get to know them well; you’ll be amazed at the difference in taste and quality – and if you can grow your own, even better.’
See our latest guide to the best of the Derbyshire region here: