What gets the award-winning head chef at Brockencote Hall, Adam Brown excited? Seasonal cooking, brilliant local ingredients – and sitting on the seafront with his girlfriend, enjoying freshly caught fish and a cold Peroni
Tell us about your cooking
It’s free-flowing and natural, concentrating on delivering the best flavour possible. Seasonal cooking is what really excites me, and ensuring the ingredients are at their very best. Supporting local and British producers is very important to me too. It’s taken about three years to get to the point where I’m happy that we’ve got the very best ingredients.
Describe your perfect meal
Sat on a seafront with my girlfriend, eating freshly caught produce – perhaps turbot with a nice cold Peroni.
How did you become a chef?
I’ve always been interested in food. After school I went to college for two days but I didn’t like it. I found the best way to work was to get practical experience. I did an in-house apprenticeship with Hilton Hotels which was a really solid foundation for where I am today. After finishing my apprenticeship I did stages at Gordon Ramsay’s Hospital Road in London, Mallory Court in Leamington Spa and Le Champignon Sauvage, Cheltenham before joining the Eden Collection family. Initially I was at the Arden in Stratford-upon-Avon before joining Brockencote as head chef.
What do you eat when at home?
Nothing fancy! Good, solid, simple British cooking such as Sunday roast or a stew.
Who’s the best chef in the world and why? And who’s the best in Brum?
I couldn’t pick one to be honest. Lots of chefs are at the top of the game, bringing their own unique twist on cooking. Many chefs have influenced me and taught me lots along the way – there are far too many to name. I might leave someone out which wouldn’t be fair!
Is the customer always right?
Yes, however all opinions are subjective to personal tastes.
What’s the best thing about being a chef?
Having the opportunity to be creative on a daily basis. I feel really lucky here as I drive in every morning and it always looks special. Being here allows me to cook differently.
What’s the worst thing about being a chef?
The hours are long and there’s a lot of time spent away from the family which can be tough.
If you weren’t a chef, what would you be?
Definitely a jet fighter pilot or a Formula One driver. I’m a typical man with a ‘need for speed’.
What do you recommend from this evening’s menu?
Roast Goosenargh duck, honey glazed beetroot, red chicory, duck gizzards
ADAM’S RECIPE FOR DARK CHOCOLATE DELICE
- 200g double cream
- 200g whole milk
- 250g 70% dark chocolate
- 65g egg yolks
- 50g caster sugar
- Boil the cream and milk
- Whisk the egg yolks and sugar
- Pour the cream and milk over the eggs and sugar
- Cook out to 82 degrees
- Pour over chocolate and mix until velvety
- Pour into required moulds and set