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Chef Speak: Adam Harvey

PUBLISHED: 10:44 15 March 2013 | UPDATED: 21:10 05 April 2013

Chef Speak: Adam Harvey

Chef Speak: Adam Harvey

Adam Harvey is head chef at Masa in Derby, a contemporary restaurant in a converted Wesleyan Chapel, where fresh food and fine dining combine

Adam Harvey is head chef at Masa in Derby, a contemporary restaurant in a converted Wesleyan Chapel, where fresh food and fine dining combine

What is your earliest food memory?

The fantastic home-cooking in my childhood. I remember cooking things like home-made lasagne with my mother from a very young age. She always used the freshest ingredients.

What were the flavours of your childhood? The hearty sorts of meals that grandparents cook! Warming dishes like stews, pies and jam roly-poly.

How did you get into cooking? I studied catering at Buxton College and then gained an apprenticeship at Darleys Restaurant in Darley Abbey, Derby.

What made you decide to become a chef?

It was mainly the influence of my fathers cooking. He had so much enthusiasm and was really experimental. His passion for food definitely rubbed off onto me.

What was your first experience of cooking professionally? I cooked at an officers mess on an RAF base in Norfolk as part of my work experience whilst I was at college. I cooked a mixture of things including home-made curries with fresh vegetables.

How did your career progress? I spent a few years gaining experience from different chefs, both locally and nationally. By shadowing head chefs, I was able to learn new skills quickly and it also accelerated my position in the kitchen.

What sort of foods and flavours inspire you? Good produce and making the most of ingredients sourced close to home. I devise recipes that incorporate as many ingredients from the local area as possible and I like to think Im making the most of what we have on offer here.

What are your food hates? People seasoning things without tasting! Fresh food has loads of natural flavour already.

Which ingredient could you not do without? Malvern salt.

How important is sourcing for you? Very important. These days diners want to know exactly where the food they are eating has come from.

Who are your preferred suppliers?

Owen Taylor in Alfreton for meat and Winster Foods in Chesterfield for dry goods. Were hoping to branch out to smaller companies for other produce and are currently building relationships with more exciting local suppliers watch this space!

Describe the best meal you ever had: About four years ago I went with a couple of foodie friends to Pied--terre in London. It was the nicest meal Ive ever had, but unbelievably I cant remember exactly what I ate! The impression has stayed with me ever since.

Who inspires you in the cooking world?

I get a lot of inspiration from our local suppliers. Theres an organic farm in Riber, near Matlock, who were hoping to develop our own personal produce with, for example. One of my close friends is also a chef and we always talk about food trends together thats really inspiring.

Who would you most like to have over for a dinner party? My friends and family.

Masa, The Old Wesleyan Chapel, Brook Street, Derby DE1 3PF. Tel: 01332 203345



Cold pressed ham hock and guinea fowl terrine, pickled wild mushrooms, mustard tuille


Ballotine of wild salmon, braised puy lentils, buttered fennel, horseradish foam


Dark chocolate delice filled with salted caramel, roasted strawberry pure, honeycomb


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