Chef profile - Ray Moody, Santos Higham Farm Hotel & Restaurant

PUBLISHED: 00:00 08 June 2018

Ray Moody

Ray Moody


Ray Moody, head chef at Santo’s Higham Farm Hotel near Alfreton, answers questions and shares two favourite recipes from their newly-launched menu

Lemon meringue Lemon meringue

Tell us a bit about yourself:

I’ve been a chef for 27 years, starting out on a Youth Training Scheme many moons ago. I’ve lived in Derbyshire nearly all my life and started training at the Gateway Hotel in Nottingham when it first opened – that is actually where I first met Santo.

How would you describe your approach to food?

Belly porkBelly pork

I ensure that we always use local ingredients where possible. I also have the added bonus of an extensive herb garden and apple and pear trees.

Tell us about your menu:

The entire menu changes with the seasons, right down to the light bites. It has a diverse feel – from classic favourites to curry – and we are just starting to collate a fresh-tasting menu ready for summer.

Which dish would you most recommend?

The 12-hour belly pork with saag aloo, carrot bhajiis, pickled raisins and tikka foam.

Which ingredient could you not live without?

Seasoning. Salt and pepper are universal and change the flavour of a dish.

Any career highlights?

Training young chefs – seeing them flourish, their confidence and passion come through and watching them excel.

What has been your most memorable meal?

It was a filet mignon cooked perfectly by a local chef – the same day I proposed to my wife, Kerry.

Who would be your dream dinner party guests?

My mother, grandmother and grandfather because they never got to see what I have achieved.

What would you choose as your last meal on earth?

A large bowl of Haribo sweets – I’ve got a bit of a sweet tooth and I’m young at heart!

Which chef is your greatest inspiration?

Robert Brown – ‘the grey flash’. He was old-school and would show you something once, then a second time and if you didn’t know it by then, God help you! Saying that, he would explain it in such a way that you didn’t need telling a third time. He took the time to really show what he knew.

What advice would you give to a novice?

Ask questions – and taste. Prepare to fail but never give up! It’s a hard, demanding trade but the rewards are great. u

Santo’s Higham Farm Hotel, Main Rd, Higham, Alfreton, 01773 833812,

More from Food & Drink

Ad Feature: Christmas Parties at The Kedleston Country House

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Celebrate with friends, family and colleagues in the privacy of our beautiful Orangery.

Read more

Ad Feature: Festive Dining at The Kedleston Country House

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Celebrate the festive season in style with friends, family and colleagues.

Read more

Ad Feature: Halloween Murder Mystery at The Kedleston Country House Hotel

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

The talented actors from Murder on the Side are back at The Kedleston for a special Halloween Murder Mystery!

Read more

Kelvin Guest, Head Chef at The George at Alstonefield creates a delicious dessert with a salute to an iconic local favourite...

Read more

Dan Smith, Head Chef at The Peacock at Rowsley reveals his favourite dishes.

Read more

Amy Noton takes a tour of the vineyard at Renishaw Hall

Read more

Peak District pubs past and present

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Andrew McCloy charts the changing fortunes of our traditional village inns, plus a selection of the best Peak District pubs for a perfect summer’s evening.

Read more
Peak District

Ad Feature: 2 Course Lunch at The Kedleston Country House Hotel

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Enjoy two delicious courses for £14.95, Wednesday - Saturday 12pm-2pm.

Read more

Nothing screams summer more than ice cream and here in Derbyshire we have an abundance of award-winning dairies. Claire Bore finds a little piece of ice cream heaven as she scoops her way around the county

Read more

Ad Feature: The Kedleston Country House

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

The Kedleston Country House is a truly unique venue in Derbyshire that offers a stunning countryside setting, within easy reach of Derby and it’s transport links.

Read more

Eating out should never be boring, yet it is all too easy to fall into the trap of dining where you know. Claire Bore goes in search of gourmet excitement and fresher than fresh food…

Read more

Ad Feature: Fillet Steak & Wine Deal at Arthur’s of Bakewell

Friday, July 13, 2018

Come and join us at Arthur’s on Bridge Street in Bakewell.

Read more

An 18th century Coach House at the Cavendish Hotel on the Chatsworth Estate has been give new life with stylishly refurbished interiors.

Read more
Chatsworth Baslow

The head chef of the Devonshire Arms at Beeley reveals his favourite dishes.

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Subscribe or buy a mag today

Topics of Interest

Local Business Directory

Property Search