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Meet the chef

PUBLISHED: 09:12 14 February 2013 | UPDATED: 22:13 26 February 2013

Meet the chef

Meet the chef

James Lelew, Head Chef, The Place, Tunbridge Wells

Meet the chef


James Lelew, Head Chef, The Place, Tunbridge Wells



Tell us a bit about you


I have been sous chef at The Place since it opened in July 2012 and recently became head chef. Previously I worked at The Brew House Hotel for two years, working my way up from my first position as pastry chef. Prior to this, I worked at two and three rosette hotels, including The Spa Hotel in Tunbridge Wells. I was a pastry chef for five years for Gary Rhodes, involved in producing hand-made desserts for customers like Marks & Spencer, British Airways First Class and Pret Manger.


Whats your signature dish?


Deep-fried coconut ice cream! I love the hot and cold contrast, the different textures and the overall appearance.


Your top cookery tip for readers?


Cook what you like with energy and keep the flavours simple and clean.


Who has influenced you most?


There have been many influences in my career, starting with my mother. She was a fantastic cook herself, and helped me decide what I wanted to do from a young age. The two head chefs I worked with in my first full-time job taught me so much, helped me develop my skills and opened my eyes to food. Most recently, Ive been inspired by my commis chef Harry Spencer, whose appetite to learn and further his already good technique keeps pushing me to excel.


Your must-have kitchen gadget?


Thats a difficult decision! A good knife is always important and I would find it hard to live without my radio.


Who would you most love to cook for?


I have always wanted to cook for the Arsenal football team as I am a big, big fan.



THE ESSENTIALS


The Brew House Hotel restaurant


1 Warwick Park, Tunbridge Wells TN2 5TA


01892 520587


What: Bistro-chic


Valentines Day - His and Her menu, 49.50 per person, inc Champagne on arrival


When: Sun-Wed 6pm-10.30pm, Thu-Sat 6pm-midnight


http://www.thebrewhousehotel.net/restaurant

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