Chef Paul Bates
We have to admit it ... we have a bit of a crush on Exec Chef Paul Bates. Not only is he devilishly handsome but the simplicity of his dishes means that even us mere mortals can whisk up his recipes at home. He's also passionate about provenance and sourcing food from folk who share his values and really care about our land, our heritage and top quality produce. We are in awe of his canny knack for plucking a recipe and recreating a bit of a classic.
Here we plonk him under the spotlight to find out more about the man behind the food.
- Tell us a little about yourself and how your childhood influenced your choice of career?
I was born in 1967 in Margate, Kent. As a child I was constantly sloping off to the beach and splashing around in the sea. My grandparents ran a guest house and I used to help out from time to time. My love of cooking grew from watching my grandfather, a keen chef, preparing fresh, simple food - particularly delicious fish bought from the local fishmongers. There were no maternal influences on my choice of career - my mum really disliked cooking and once told me she would hire a full time chef... if she won the lottery! I was also pretty sporty as a child (still am) and particularly enjoy water sports: I suppose the sea has always been a major influence in my life in one form or the other. I'm also a passionate rugby fan and keen follower of the London Irish.
- Did you always want to be a chef?
I initially wanted to go into hotel management but was encouraged to get into the catering side by an inspirational college tutor called Peter Barrett, who also taught Gary Rhodes. He was fantastic.
- Where and with whom have you previously worked?
- If you hadn't become a chef what other career would you have chosen?
I would have loved to have been an architect. I love design and form. I would really enjoy the challenges of creating a structure.
- What food inspires your cooking?
I’m passionate about British produce - like Jersey Royals, English Asparagus and new season lamb. I love the challenge of putting flavours and textures together and creating something totally original.
- My hampers at Cookbook Cafe...
On a balmy summer day I enjoy nothing better than padding into the park with my family (for a little downtime) to enjoy a little sunshine, quaff a glass of chilled Champagne or good ale (depending on the mood) and tuck into a picnic hamper crammed full of my favourite food...
Get a slice of this quintessential English pastime with one of my Paul Bates Hampers..
For the delicious detail...
Roasted ratatouille, cous cous and chorizo
Chicken salad, shredded and tossed in sherry-hazelnut vinegar dressing
Tuna-salmon sashimi, wasabi and ginger
Lightly poached lobster, mango-basil salsa
Mixed leaf, cos, rocket, mache, sweet cherry tomatoes, bell peppers
Palm Heart artichoke and avocado, light garlic dressing
Sharphams rustic (hard cheese)
This season's pear chutney
Sinful chocolate fudge brownie
English bakewell tart
Large still or sparkling water
Picnic perfection at just £60.00 ex VAT