Meet the chef...Simon King,chef/proprietor at 1861,near Abergavenny.

How long have you been a chef and where did you train?

I have been a chef since the age of 16, which is now 21 years. I trained with the Roux brothers at their 3 Michelin star restaurant, The Waterside Inn at Bray. I was there for three years, which is the best possible training you could have.

Why did you decide to follow this career path?

I used to helpmymumwith the baking and I thoroughly enjoyed our Home Economics lessons at school, even the first one, when we were mixing muesli - so it was almost inevitable that it should become my career path.

What is your ethos behind the dishes you create?

I create the kinds of dishes I would like to have when I go out to eat.

As a chef you spend many, many hours in the kitchen, so you have to enjoy the dishes you are creating.

Who is your foodie hero?

It has to be my father-in-law who grows the vast majority of the vegetables and salads we use in the restaurant and eat at home.

His market garden is in Nantyderry, so that is food with a lowcarbon footprint! The surplus we turn into pickles, chutneys and jams.

What do you think about the way food, restaurants and chefs have become 'sexy'?

It's good for raising the profile of the industry and has encouraged youngsters to see it as a good career choice.

You've got the night off to spend a quiet evening at home and you want something to eat, what would you have?

I would be delighted if someone else prepared my special meal on my night off! And I would like a delicious roast chicken, with a traditional sage and onion stuffing and bread sauce, roast potatoes and a selection of superb fresh vegetables.