Niall Keating, the executive chef at two-Michelin-starred restaurant Whatley Manor, tells us about his fondness for Cotswolds’ culinary scene and his love of local produce.
As a keen supporter of local suppliers and produce, it seems that Niall believes there’s no better place to source fresh produce than the rolling countryside of the Cotswolds. ‘Working at Whatley Manor, I’m fortunate enough to be ensconced in a truly beautiful part of the world, and I also have access to the Cotswolds’ incredible natural larder. Our food markets are something to behold, with most keeping to a 30-mile local food-sourcing rule. This way, we foodies can source the freshest produce from as close to home as possible, allowing us to embrace a field to fork philosophy,’ he says.
Niall is committed to ensuring that the guests at Whatley Manor experience delicious food, which is only possible through the sourcing of the best ingredients. ‘I source the best meat from Ruby & White, smoked fish from Coln Valley Smokery and the freshest farm eggs from down the road in Sherston. Tracklements – the curious curators of culinary condiments – also happen to be our neighbours, so I’m able to get the best piccalilli to serve with our homemade pork pie in Grey’s Brasserie.’
Locality and passion is evident in every dish Niall creates. Although he takes inspiration from his surrounds, his dishes aren’t just about great local food, though; they are inspired by his travels around the globe. ‘I love to combine top-notch local produce with ingredients from the far corners of the world. I pick up a lot of goodies from Asian supermarkets – my plates reflect my passion for connecting my favourite flavours.’
‘The Cotswolds food scene continues to flourish, and our diners are becoming more adventurous and eager to embrace trends. My arrival at Whatley sees The Dining Room entering a new phase of tasting menus with Korean, Japanese and British flourishes.’
Eating out in the Cotswolds is incredibly easy, as there are so many great places to choose from. ‘My personal favourites include The Potting Shed in Crudwell, which is great for relaxed pub food taken up a notch, and The Vine Tree in Norton.’ Whether you’re a local or newbie, Niall encourages you to try new styles of cuisine and explore the Cotswolds’ exciting food scene.
For more places to eat out, request your free copy of the guide here, or view a digital version below: