After working for Michael Caines at The Royal Clarence, Lee cooked his way around Australia before returning home to cook at The Salutation Inn. Now he’s taken over the kitchen at The Galley in Topsham, hailing a new era for the bijou restaurant, discovers Rosanna Rothery
ONE KITCHEN GADGET YOU COULDN’T LIVE WITHOUT?
A powerful blender.
EARLY FOOD MEMORY?
My dad’s spaghetti bolognese: it was and still is consistently fantastic. He always fancied himself a chef …
WHERE DO YOU LIKE TO EAT OUT?
The Salutation Inn in Topsham and The Rusty Pig in Ottery. I love the atmosphere of The Salutation and that ‘special occasion’ feel it has. The Rusty Pig has fantastic charcuterie and the breakfast is to die for.
WISH YOU’D KNOWN 10 YEARS AGO?
Just how much the industry would progress and develop.
The Exeter Inn. It’s quite simply a proper pub, a great old fashioned boozer, and it has a sublime selection of real ales.
WHAT’S OVERRATED IN COOKING?
Having too many toys in the kitchen, instead of using good old fashioned hands-on cooking methods.
PET HATES WHEN EATING OUT?
It’s disappointing to leave a restaurant and think ‘I should have cooked at home’. Also over-attentive front of house staff, overcrowded menus and worst of all … cold food.
LIKE TO HAVE SUPPER WITH?
Liam Gallagher. But if we’re talking food then Tom Kerridge. Oh, and obviously my wife Alex.
MOST MEMORABLE DAY OF YOUR CAREER SO FAR?
Being taken by Michael Caines, along with my brother Ollie, to cook at Raymond Blanc’s 60th birthday celebrations at Le Manoir. Most recently, it was having the opportunity to work with the Williams F1 team for the season finale in Abu Dhabi.
ON THE UP?
Topsham’s fantastic food scene continues to develop with a wonderfully diverse choice of eateries.
After working at Abode Exeter, pastry chef Samuel Brook landed at Paschoe House near Crediton, soon to become head chef. He tells Abi Manning about meat and two veg, guilty pleasures and his Kitchen Aid