Meet the chef... Peter Hulsmann, The Inn at Penallt

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

Well over 40 years! I initially trained in Aachen (Germany) before moving to London.

Since coming to Wales I've worked as head chef in restaurants in Monmouthshire and Herefordshire including The Priory at Caerleon and The Wilton Court Hotel, Ross.

Why did you decide to follow this career path?

I had to do something for my mother's birthday and with little cash about I made up a dish from things I found in the fridge and from then on found I had a passion for cooking which is still with me.

What makes your restaurant different from others?

A lot of restaurants serve great food but sometimes the atmosphere is a little starchy and the beer's mainstream. On the other hand pubs can often serve good ales and ciders but the food is left wanting.

At The Inn at Penallt we produce and serve some fantastic food in a friendly relaxed environment, all of us have a passion for ensuring customers enjoy them selves.

Along side the food we serve great local ales and ciders. From a kitchen perspective attention to detail is important, we do as much as it is possible in our kitchen, including making our own butter and bread on a daily basis as well as our own stocks, sauces and ice creams.

Who is your foodie hero?

Too many but to mention but two are standing out for me.

Of the older generation I have to say Franco from the Walnut Tree and of the new generation it would have to be Stephen Terry from the Hardwick.

His cooking I feel is up there with the best chefs in the Wales and the UK.

But most of all anybody that likes good food.

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

First of all good food has always been 'sexy'. The TV exposure has been fantastic in raising peoples understanding of food and highlighting good and bad practise, although for me I think a chef's place is in the kitchen.

If somebody pays good money to be cooked a meal by a chef he or she should be in their kitchen doing just that.

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

Simple good home cooked food like cottage pie and a nice Caesar salad and lots of fresh fish.

Why is Monmouthshire such a great place for food?

Oh that's easy. Monmouthshire has a fantastic wealth of produce from spring lamb leading the charge to Welsh Black beef ,fresh vegetables and fruit and not to forget come the end of summer a great supply of wild mushrooms - even thinking about it makes my mouth water.

In fact, for us we have a plenty full supply of fruit from small growers in the village itself along with pork and lamb that come within walking distance of the kitchen