High-end dining, a trusty Thermomix and Granny’s ham hock: Craig Davies, head chef at Paschoe House near Crediton, gives us a peek inside his culinary world
What’s the one kitchen item you couldn’t live without?
My Thermomix. I use it for everything: purees, powders, ice cream bases. It’s a good piece of equipment and allows you to multitask and be consistent every time.
What’s your earliest food memory?
My grandmother’s Sunday roast. It varied what she’d cook but I especially remember the ham hock and the roast pork. Both my parents have big families and we’d all be together around the table, enjoying good food.
Where do you like to eat out?
I really like Michael Caines’ Lympstone Manor, Paul Ainsworth at Number 6 in Padstow and Outlaw’s Fish Kitchen in Port Isaac. I’d wanted to go to them for years but I’ve only been in the area for a while so I hadn’t had the opportunity previously. I try and eat out in high-end restaurants, but it’s not just my job – it’s also my hobby. It’s interesting to see what other people do and [to understand] their perceptions and ideas around flavour.
Like to have supper with?
My mum and dad because they’ve supported me through everything I’ve done. I’d also include the chefs I’ve spent time with throughout my career, especially Martin Burge (he’s my mentor really) and Nigel Howard. Also the people underneath me, such as the sous chefs. I’ve learnt from all of them.
Wish you’d known 10 years ago?
I wish I’d got into what I’m doing at a much younger age. I also wish we were graced with more Michelin starred restaurants around the North West where I’m from so that I could’ve got more involved.
Which food trend would you rather forget?
I don’t really see it like that – I just concentrate on my own food. I experiment a lot and nothing that I do goes straight onto the menu. It’s all about the development: tasting the recipes and making them more intricate. I don’t really follow trends; I’m just interested in what I enjoy, what my palate likes.
What’s hot at the moment?
Everybody’s trying to find quality local products in their area that they can use to create great food, instead of using French products.