Flash-grilled: Gavin Edney

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Flash-grilled: Gavin Edney

Related tags: Hotel, Restaurant, Chef

The group head chef for The Elder in Bath and The Woodsman in Stratford upon Avon on starting out in kitchens at 15 and his love of wild British ingredients.

What was your first industry job?
Working at Fowey Hall Hotel at 15 years old. I was making sandwiches, pulling lobsters out of tanks and prepping them, shucking oysters, pin-boning mackerel, all the glamorous jobs!  That’s not how I’d start a commis training now.

If you weren’t in kitchens, what would you do?
I’ve always fancied the idea of being a paramedic

What industry figure do you most admire, and why?
There so many. I have the greatest respect for the older generation that inspired so many of my generation and the way we do things every day really! The likes of Thomas Keller, Paul Bocuse, The Roux Brothers, Pierre Koffman, Marco and Gordon are all legends.

Pet hate in the kitchen?
Too many to mention.

What’s the oddest thing a customer has said to you?
A had a customer once ask me if I’d come to her house and cook for the weekend… with or without my wife.

Sum up your cooking style in a single sentence…
I love cooking with wild, British ingredients where flavour comes first above all else.

What’s the worst review you’ve ever had?
I can’t tell you yet, It’s the first time I’ve been in charge.

Which single item of kitchen equipment could you not live without?
My Vita Prep.

What would you choose to eat for your last meal?
Grilled lobster with garlic butter, chips and Béarnaise sauce.

What’s the best meal you’ve ever had in a restaurant?
L'Enclume back in 2011.

Favourite fast food joint?
Papa Johns.

Most overrated food?
Avocado.

What’s your earliest food memory?
My mum's beef stew and dumplings.

Tipple of choice?
Whiskey with ginger beer.

What do you consider your signature dish?
Warm crab tart with lemon mayonnaise and chimichurri.

What advice would you give someone starting out in the industry?
You need to make sure it’s something you really want to do.  You’ve got to be fully dedicated it takes up a huge chunk of your life.  When you start no one expects you to know anything, so don’t stress yourself out about that, just be willing to learn.  Be kind, humble and ask lots of questions.  A great attitude will take you far.  I’ve seen commis come in with bad attitudes and you’ll just get chewed up and spat out. 

Related topics: Chef, People, Profiles, Restaurant

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