Daniel Gould is the head chef at The Cornerstone Kitchen – an independent catering company specialising in high end restaurant quality food for weddings, corporate dinners and private dining at home. He started young, baking with his Nan, so no surprise then, that he cooks regularly with his own four-year-old daughter.
Tell us about your cooking
My style is not to over-complicate things. I like to let the ingredients do the talking and treat them with respect. I love working on desserts and anything pastry – they are always my favourite dishes to develop when the new menus come around. Right now it’s so important to support local businesses as much as we can. We do that by using a local baker for all of our breads. For meats we buy from Pat’s Butchers in Four Oaks. They have been fantastic and a huge support to us right from the beginning.
How did you become a chef?
It all started with my Nan. I used to do loads of baking with her. That’s where my love for pastry came from. Then growing up, my mum was general manager of a hotel in Kenilworth so I started working in the kitchen to make some money. I loved the buzz in the kitchen and knew that’s what I wanted to do. I did a year’s training at Turners and learned so much from Richard and his team which gave me a solid foundation that took me to Hotel du Vin and Andersons before arriving here at Cornerstone.
What do you eat at home?
It depends on what mood I am in. As soon as the sun comes out, I enjoy cooking in the garden and I especially love cooking with my four-year-old daughter Bella, seeing her get involved whether it’s baking some cakes or making a spaghetti bolognese for dinner. My go-to dish at home is mac ‘n’ cheese, which I love.
Who’s the best chef in the world and why? And who’s the best in Brum?
I am inspired by chefs just wanting to do
it properly, no cutting corners. Marco Pierre White was the first chef I saw doing it that way, he has massively influenced the whole food scene with some of best chefs in the world having done their time with him. In terms of Birmingham, I couldn’t answer that, there are too many good chefs to pick from now. One to watch, though, is Liam Dillon at the Boat Inn. I love his style of cooking.
Share a cooking tip
Easy answer…. butter. Everything tastes better with a load of butter in it.
What was your favourite food as a kid?
Ice Cream. I just love it. Still do today. Also, proper Staffordshire oatcakes. If I ever see them anywhere I will always buy some.
Food heaven and food hell?
Heaven would have to be croque madame – back in the day when I worked at Hotel du Vin they were just perfect. Honestly, I do not have a food hell, there really isn’t anything I would say no to.
What’s the most unusual thing you’ve eaten?
Frog legs, snails, kangaroo, crocodile, mealworms, ants… to name a few, all of which I really enjoyed!
If you weren’t a chef, what would you be?
I love the outdoors, going hiking, taking my tent. I will camp anywhere. I am really happy when doing that, so I guess something in the outdoors. Or a carpenter. I love being practical and building things especially working with wood.
What do you recommend from this evening’s menu?
Pork cheeks, cauliflower puree, Dauphi
noise potatoes , black pudding crumb, roasted apple and cider sauce. It’s a hearty dish but not heavy – which I think is just right for a springtime plate of food.
Daniel’s recipe for White chocolate mousse tart topped with Pineapple and pink peppercorns
- Sugar 125g
- Egg yolk 140g
- white chocolate 400g
- butter 50g
- double cream 600ml
- splash of water
- Pre-baked tart case
- Pink Peppercorns
- pineapple prepared into dices
- 50g sugar
Add add 50g sugar to 2 tbsp of water in a pan over medium heat. Allow sugar to melt and bring to a boil and wait for it to turn dark amber in colour. Remove from heat, toss in the pineapple chunks until coated in the caramel then set aside until until cooled
Add egg yolks into a mixing bowl.
Add sugar into saucepan with a splash of water, heat to a soft ball then pour into the mixing bowl with the egg yolks in whilst whisking with electric mixer.
Continue to whisk the eggs until they become light and form a sabayon
Melt the butter and chocolate together over a bain marie and fold into the sabayon
Whisk the double cream in a mixing bowl until you get soft peaks, fold into it the sabayon mixture then using a piping bag or mixture fill your pre- baked tart case.
Add the pineapple chunks in caramel to the top of the tart. Garnish with the crushed pink peppercorns.