AN INSIGHT INTO GARETH WARD AND HOW HE BECAME AN EXECUTIVE HEAD CHEF AT THE HORSESHOES, LONG LANE
Gareth began his journey at The Horseshoes in June 2015 after Berkeley Inns Ltd acquired and completed a major refurb of the casual fine dining gastro pub. Gareth then oversaw the set up of The Cock Inn (also owned by Berkeley Inns) when it opened in November 2016 before moving back to The Horseshoes permanently to create the exquisite menu and award-winning food served today.
What made you become a chef?
From a young age it became apparent to me that my Dad was quite good in the kitchen. I enjoyed watching him cook and willingly sampled the dishes he served during the years I lived at home. The interest of cooking stayed with me during high school which lead to my decision to choose Home Economics as a core subject when I was 14 years old. During this time, I discovered a passion for developing the flavours in food and I progressed in my ability to emphasise these flavours to create memorable tastes of my own.
Tell us a little about your first job.
When I was just 16, I worked at The Baytree restaurant in Edgbaston. Here I began my career as a commis chef, which is the entry level position for a chef. My main responsibility was to prepare and cook the vegetables that were served as sides to many of the main courses. I was given the opportunity to practice my passion of enhancing flavours and adding my own stamp.
Who is the most memorable Chef that you have worked with?
Without a doubt this is Andy Waters, a chef who had earned a Michelin star and has been awarded a Bib Gourmand. I worked alongside Andy for around 17 years which provided me with the knowledge and experience that I have today. I also admire Marco Pierre White as he has a flare for enhancing flavours in the dishes he has created and is always striving to develop not only his food but also other chefs that work with him.
Which dish is your favourite to make?
(Without hesitation) Pork belly. The fat presents the opportunity to really ignite the flavours during a slow cook and enhance the taste. A favourite of mine is pork belly with orange and carrot puree.
And finally, what made you join Berkeley Inns and become the Executive Head Chef?
I was presented with the opportunity to join the group in early 2015. After being approached directly I visited Derbyshire to meet with Howard Thacker (Group Managing Director). During the six hour interview I met with another group director and visited both The Cock Inn and The Horseshoes. It was at this point that I realised that it was the perfect role for me. Joining the group has given me the opportunity to implement my own ideas and put my own print on The Horseshoes as well as developing like minded chefs with the same passion for food.
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THE HORSESHOES, LONG LANE, DE6 5BJ
LUXURY BOUTQIUE INN
The Cow, Dalbury Lees, Derbyshire
A 12 bedroom boutique inn with hearty food and a wide beverage offering
Also part of Berkeley Inns Ltd.