Seasoned To Perfection with POB

Getting ready for the Seasoned to Perfection event, we had the pleasure of sitting down with each of the chefs to delve deeper into their backgrounds and the regions of their UK. Hear their insights below:


Firstly, we had a chat with Stephan Guinebault, Head Chef from The Priory, Dorset.

Q) How important is provenance to you and how does it feature on your menus at The Priory?

A) Having a very good relationship with suppliers is important for all the fruits, berries, and vegetables in season even if it is for a short time and supply. We run seasonal menus which change regularly depending on the local produce that is available. Our close relationships with our suppliers means we can plan ahead and work closely together, adapting depending on what is working well. For example, we like to use younger asparagus when it is in season for its finer style and slightly different flavour. Our Dorset supplier works closely with us to make sure he picks it at the perfect time for us.


Q) How do you think your food stands apart from other chefs in the UK?

A) I have been classically trained; I am still looking for the provenance and essence of any produce using traditional cooking techniques and respecting the ingredients. There is so much to speak about, I prefer to let my food do the talking!


Q) What other local Dorset ingredients do you regularly use?

A) We locally source lamb, beef, venison, pork, lobster, trout, crab and cheese - our incredible suppliers provide amazing produce.


We then sat down with Gavin Edney, Executive Chef at The Headland Hotel & Spa.

Q) What is your favourite local food? 

A) Well, it's a tough choice, but I'd have to say Cornish crab takes the top spot for me. Though, I must admit, I have a soft spot for a slice of saffron cake paired with Boddington strawberry jam.


Q) What sets the food offered at your hotel apart from others?

A) The uniqueness stems from several factors: the province's distinct flavours, the exceptional quality of ingredients, and most importantly, the dedicated team I have the pleasure of working with. They treat each dish with love, cooking it with care and attention to detail.


Q) Why do you champion seasonal produce?

A) It's quite straightforward. Seasonal produce offers superior flavour, quality, and often comes at a lower cost. We believe in the philosophy of "what goes together grows together." By aligning our menus with the seasons, everything naturally falls into place, resulting in fresh, vibrant, and delicious dishes.


Finally, we sat down with Executive Chef John Jewell from Calcot & Spa, Cotswolds.

Q) If you had to choose, what would be your favourite local food?

A) There is certainly many options out there, but if I had to pick, my personal favorite would be venison, particularly fallow deer. I do have a soft spot for the Longhorn Beef from Huntsham Farm, the flavour is simply amazing, and it's reassuring to know that the animals' welfare is prioritized. Oh, and let's not forget about their pork and mutton – equally superb choices! 


Q) What makes the food that you offer at Calcot & Spa special?

A) We believe in showcasing the excellence of our local suppliers. We prefer not to interfere with their high-quality produce, allowing the ingredients to speak for themselves. Our approach is simple: outstanding ingredients cooked with passion. That's our philosophy.


Q) Why do you champion seasonal produce?

A) We prioritize seasonal produce for several reasons. Firstly, it simply tastes much better when consumed at the time nature intended. Additionally, supporting local producers is a core value at Calcot & Spa because we deeply care about our community. Sourcing seasonal produce reduces the environmental impact associated with long-distance transportation. We believe in running our business in an environmentally responsible manner and embracing seasonal produce is one of the most effective ways to achieve this goal.