David Guest, Head Chef at Ettington Park Hotel, Stratford-Upon-Avon, Warwickshire.
I have been a chef for 17 years and have been lucky enough to work in many areas of the catering industry. After completing culinary school at the age of 18, I started out as a Commis Chef in a small family run Italian restaurant ‘Portway Italian Restaurant’. Here I learnt how to cook traditional Italian food from the Bologna region. This inspired me to want to prepare and produce dishes which celebrate the quality of fresh seasonal and local ingredients.
I progressed my career moving into the gastro pub scene and working for ‘Lovely Pubs’, where I learned how to apply my knowledge and skills in a high volume environment whilst using fresh local produce. I've always felt it's very important to support and showcase local connection and celebrate the quality produced by local farmers and butchers.
I took two years out of cooking to complete a diploma in teaching and was given the opportunity to teach young chefs in colleges. I have found this to have a positive impact in my kitchen today, using my teaching ability to shape younger members of the team.
In 2014 I made my way to Stratford and with this came the start of my experience within fine dining, working in The Welcombe and Billesley Manor. Following this I joined Ettington Park Hotel as Head Chef and have been leading the team here for the last three years. I enjoy using the local produce and creating dishes to celebrate the finest ingredients they have to offer, such as Worcestershire orchard reared pork and aged Herefordshire beef.
My signature dishes include braised shoulder of lamb served alongside sweetbreads, Jerusalem artichokes, black garlic puree and finished with a rosemary jus as well as scallops which I pair with pork belly, cauliflower puree and apple textures.
My ideology of food and creating dishes is based around showcasing a product and celebrating the best of it by using a variety of cuts or cooking techniques. I aspire to continue creating food in this way and shaping young chefs of the future.