Meet the executive head chef Tudor Park Marriott Hotel & Country Club, Bearsted
PUBLISHED: 08:37 20 February 2013 | UPDATED: 22:16 26 February 2013
Tom Biddle on family, roasts with a twist and why patience and imagination pays off
MEET THE CHEF
Tom Biddle, the executive head chef of Tudor Park Marriott Hotel & Country Club, Bearsted, on family, roasts with a twist and why patience and imagination pays off
Tell us a bit about you
I became executive head chef at Tudor Park in June 2012 and discovered that, at 25, I was the youngest person to hold this title in the whole of the Marriott Hotel Groups 58 UK hotels. I am very proud of that, although I had already clocked up nearly 10 years experience in the catering industry.
It was a hectic time as I moved from my home town of Birmingham to Kent, took control of the Tudor Parks large kitchens and a team of a dozen chefs, and also got married all within the first two weeks of taking up the post.
My wife Natalie and our two-year-old Millie-Grace have since moved down to join me and weve now set up home in Ashford. Moving to Kent has been like a breath of fresh air. Until recently I was based in a hotel in the heart of Birmingham, where farm shops and Pick Your Own barely exist. So, for a food lover like me, it feels like being a kid in a sweet shop to be here
Whats your signature dish?
Roast with a twist. I like to turn traditional dishes on their head and, whatever the time of year will be happy to present a perfectly cooked, slow-roast joint served with vegetables or salads that been given the star treatment such as glazed carrots with oranges, thyme and toasted cumin seeds
Your top cookery tip for readers?
Have patience and be imaginative. Getting many of the chef skills right takes time, so if at first you dont succeed, dont give up. Try again and enjoy the process of creating or adapting recipes to make the dish your own
Who has influenced you most?
My mentor, Nigel Parnaby, who is now the director of food at the Forest of Arden Marriott Hotel and Country Club in Birmingham. I joined his team when I was 17 and he literally watched me grow up. He taught me patience and to use my imagination
Your must-have kitchen gadget?
It has to be a temperature probe. If you have one of these, you will never undercook or overcook a joint of meat again. I bought one for my dad and he now always uses it
Who would you love to cook for?
As long as Im cooking for people who really appreciate food, are interested in where the ingredients come from and the effort that has gone into the preparation, then Im happy.
Where: Tudor Park Marriott Hotel & Country Club
Ashford Road, Bearsted, nr Maidstone ME14 4NQ
What: versatile, welcoming chain hotel with the warmth of an independent
How much: nightly rates from 103; UK and European weekend breaks available; Conical Grill two courses 18, three courses 23; Declor body wrap 62
When: room check-in 3pm, check-out 12pm; restaurant open breakfast and dinner