Chef profile - Pete Dale, The Greenman Public House, Ashbourne
PUBLISHED: 12:52 21 March 2019
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Pete Dale, Head Chef at Ashbourne's The Greenman Public House lets us in on a few secrets and gives us the recipe for a delicious pudding
Tell us a bit about yourself
I’m a self-taught chef, developing my style of cooking from my own experience that began at the age of 16. I was born in Essex but moved to Ashbourne in 2001 and I now consider this my home. I love Guinness, am a lifelong supporter of Wasps rugby team and have completed an Iron Man.
How would you describe your approach to food?
Our approach to food is to be thoughtful, considerate, recognisable and delightful. Every dish on our menu has a reason behind it; whether the main ingredient is the first of the season, a different cut of meat or a change in the season, we adapt our menu weekly or sometimes daily to reflect this. All the dishes we create must be great whilst supporting our local community, being considerate to the environment and making a great place for our staff to work.
Tell us about your menu
It’s ever-changing and will always feature seasonal cooking, but we are always looking for the twist or nuance which hopefully our guests will notice. We cook with old school values and modern-day kit to make recognisable food that is executed correctly.
Which dish would you most recommend?
We work so hard to produce as much on site as possible, from the cultured butter through to the gingerbread men at the end of the meal, so it’s hard to pinpoint a single dish. If I came to eat at The Greenman Public House and ate either our Sunday Lunch or our burger I would be suitably impressed due primarily to the quality of the raw ingredients, and then the applications we put towards it.
What would you recommend about the local area?
I moved here in 2001 and have chosen to make Ashbourne my home so I can’t recommend the area enough. The town has evolved into a must-visit area with plenty of independent high-quality shops. If you enjoy outdoor pursuits, there is no better place than the Derbyshire Dales and the Peak District on our doorstep.
Who would be your dream dinner party guests?
The England rugby team from 1990, Paul Weller, Elvis, Quentin Tarantino and Keith Floyd – and my wife Laura, as we don’t have time to go out for dinner!
What would you choose as your last meal on earth?
A pint of Guinness and oysters.
What advice would you give to a novice?
I would tell any novice home cook to relax, source great ingredients, cook simply and season carefully. Any novice chef who wants to move on in their career I would say, do as much extracurricular work, study and practice as possible. Also, that the day you can give yourself entirely to your craft will be the day you see more and greater results, both personally and professionally.
What has been your most memorable meal?
At the French Laundry in Yountville, Napa Valley – I proposed to my wife of 14 years there.