Meet the chef...Jamie Lewis,head chef, Bryn Meadows Golf Hotel & Spa
2:02pm Friday 3rd February 2012 in Leisure
Q: How long have you been a chef and where did you train?
A: I have been a chef for 11 years,I began my training at Barry college where I undertook my NVQ level 2, then through S.A Brain I completed my Level 3 and also an applied ability award throught Cambrian Training company whilst working at Churchills hotel.
During my time with the company I was twice runner up and winner of the 2011 company chef of the year out of over 100 Brains venues.
Q: Why did you decide to follow this career path?
A: From a young age I always had a passion for cooking. On weekends my nan used to teach me to bake and as I grew up I enjoyed experimenting with food. Then when I turned 16 I was fortunate enough to get a part time job as a waiter in a local resturant.
Watching how the chefs prepared and cooked food using a range of different ingredients, bringing them all together and serving them is when I decided I wanted to be a chef .
Q: What is the ethos behind the dishes you create?
A: The best possible Welsh ingredients that you can get! Dishes that are simple and that people know what they are getting.
Also keeping the cost down in these difficult times.
The dishes have to be served quickly and consistently.
I cook for a living and always remember that people come out and pay for the food me and my team cook.
They could go somewhere else, so it’s my job to ensure that they will always come to Bryn Meadows.
I love the freedom to be able to change dishes quickly. We use the best of the local suppliers and work very closely with them to achieve the very best end product.
I'm very fortunate at Bryn Meadows that the manager and owners are commited to me be able to deliever the best quality and standards helping to achieve a repuation for excellent food for residents and locals to enjoy
Q: Who is your foodie hero?
A: I would say James Martin or the Hairy Bikers as they cook fantastic food that isn’t over complicated that people want to eat time and time again. Also they are laid back and calm. They enjoy what they do!
Chefs can have a bad press with tempers and shouting. I run my kitchen calmly. I don’t want to waste time and energy shouting.
All that does is make people make mistakes and quality suffers! We just need to cook!
Q: What do you think about the way food, restaurants and chefs have become 'sexy' in recent years?
A: It’s great that cooking has such a high profile now. The more people know about what goes on in a professional kitchen the more young people will come into the industry.
Everyone in now an amateur chef and it is good because they what good quality ingredients and what to know all about them.
They will also pay for quality. They are now more critical and that make all chefs raise their standards. Woman like men who can cook!
Q: You've got the night off to spend a quiet evening at home and you want something to eat – what would you have?
A: After I've cooked my daughter her tea,I would have to say a rib eye steak well seasoned cooked medium.