Gordon Neale, Head Chef at Audleys Wood Hotel, Hampshire

Head chef at Audleys Wood, Gordon Neale, has enjoyed a long and varied history with Hand Picked Hotels having joined the brand back in 2010 as pastry chef de partie at Woodlands Park Hotel in Surrey. 

Gordon has since worked in many of the kitchens within the group and was first to take up the position of ‘roaming chef’ - a vital role supporting seasonal peaks, large events and holidays across the portfolio.  Moving to Audleys Wood as sous chef in 2014 and then progressing to head up the team in 2017 are described as pivotal moments in Gordon’s career where he comfortably made the kitchens of Hampshire his home. 

Gordon is inspired by his love of nature, and his role at Audleys Wood, surrounded by acres of parkland and woodland, puts him at the heart of an abundant natural larder. Gordon knows how to work with simple ingredients to elevate them to another level, transforming them into vibrant dishes that reflect the best of what’s in season. His passion and fascination with science inspires his ever-evolving techniques used in contemporary cooking and motivates him to bring something new to the restaurant season after season. 

A Quick Q&A 

What do you enjoy the most about your job?

I love devising new dishes from conception, development and then seeing it on the menu. All the feedback from diners makes it all so fulfilling and seeing guests enjoy the creations I’ve made is what it’s all about for me.

What’s your favourite cut of meat?

Lamb, as it’s packed with flavour and really versatile. I am currently experimenting with some ingredients to create something new, but a classic, such as Rump of Lamb with garlic and rosemary potato cake, butternut squash purée and roasted leeks for example will always be a firm favourite.

What’s your guilty food pleasure?

I’m going to be controversial as I’ve got to say, I adore white chocolate Toblerone!

What’s your favourite dish on the menu?

It’s got to be the Chicken Supreme - it’s a classic but a great one and so comforting. I think it looks like a real show stopper on the plate and very pleasing to the eye, if I do say so myself!

What’s most popular choice on the menu by your customers?

Funnily enough that’s the Andwell Brewery ale battered North Sea cod – a true Hand Picked favourite. Another stand out plate, especially given the size of the cod and the lightness of batter from the ale makes it utterly delicious!