Meet the Chef - Stephen Harman
PUBLISHED: 09:00 19 February 2014
Head chef at The Shire Horse in Edlaston
How did you get into cooking?
My Nan inspired me. I remember watching her whilst sitting at the kitchen table, when I would taste all the pies and pastries she was making. She would use her Mrs Beeton’s cookbook for reference, with her own added notes stuffed inside on scraps of paper. The smell was fantastic. I now have that cookbook on my bookshelf in the kitchen at The Shire Horse.
What was your first experience of cooking food professionally?
I did two weeks of work experience at a large London hotel, peeling and cooking roast potatoes for the Christmas period. It didn’t put me off – we all have to start somewhere.
Do you have a signature dish?
Signature dishes should be seasonal in my mind, so I think chefs should have more than one to match the time of year. At The Shire Horse, I have a roast breast of locally sourced pheasant wrapped in home-cured bacon on a pâté croûte, served with parnsip crisps, creamy mashed potato and a port wine jus.
Which ingredients could you not do without?
Seasonings, both dried and fresh herbs, and spices are great for enhancing or giving a twist to the dish you’re preparing, especially at this time of year with winter comfort food.
Who are your preferred suppliers?
Owen Taylor & Sons of Leabrooks supplies quality meat and poultry that is sourced from reputable local farms at a good price. We also use M&J seafood for its large range of good quality fresh wet fish and shellfish.
The Shire Horse, Edlaston, Ashbourne, Derbyshire DE6 2DQ Tel: 01335 342714 www.theshirehorse.co.uk