Hi all, in my quest to find more behind the scenes information in the food industry, I caught up with Chef Elizabeth Hunt. She can be found creating dishes guaranteed to make your mouth water (no joke) and her Bavette steak sandwich is one of the best you’ll ever eat. Here is a selection of stunning dishes that she has created, along with her thoughts about cooking, Mary Berry and inspiration in the kitchen. Thank you for your time Elizabeth, it was a pleasure talking to you.
Have you always been passionate about food?
I have fond memories of when I was younger, of cooking and baking with my grandma. She was a retired chef and could create something out of nothing. It was amazing to watch and learn from her, which in turn stoked my creative fire and set me on my food journey.
What inspires you in the kitchen and how long does it take to create a menu (starter, main, and dessert)?
Beautiful ingredients and hard working driven people are what inspire me – that is a recipe for success. Creating dishes can vary from a quick brainstorming session, or a couple of weeks’ to contemplate, taking into consideration the different seasons and complexity of ingredients that you’re working with.
What is your favourite ingredient that you absolutely cannot do without?
Tricky to choose just one! I would have to say butter, it’s a staple for your larder.
Cookery shows like MasterChef and Saturday Kitchen are game-changers; it is now very fashionable to get creative in the kitchen. What do you think of this cooking / baking revolution?
I feel it gives people more confidence in the kitchen, and ideas for the home cook to experiment with. They give an insight into how a professional kitchen operates. This in turn can also give inspiration for a career as a chef which is a great thing.
What cooking trends have you encountered this year? Are there any new ingredients you can tell us about?
I’m quite the traditionalist at heart, but I have had the opportunity to play with a few of the molecular ingredients, which is a learning curve but very fun. I’m very taken by the Tonka bean, the aroma is incredible! It’s quite complex, it’s more towards a smoky vanilla but with an almond background. I made a Tonka bean milkshake, which works great with a chocolate element.
What would be your last supper?
Definitely has to be a good pie! A shortcrust steak and ale pie with mash and gravy. A happy pie filled tummy is the best!
Are there any chefs that inspire you, or whom you admire?
I’m not really a follower of big names, although I must confess, I’m a fan of Mary Berry’s traditional baking style. I get my inspiration from the great chefs I’ve had the pleasure working with, one of which is my old head chef Chris Parry. His drive, passion and focus for food is infectious.
Do you have any cookery books?
Yes, I have a lot of cookery books, too many perhaps as my drawer collapsed! I’m still planning on more though, you can never have to many!
To taste delicious food, head over to Littleover Lodge, which is one of the places where freelance chef Elizabeth Hunt can be found cooking up delicious treats in the kitchen.