Dominic Chapman's passion for food is in the blood: his family has owned and run the highly acclaimed Castle Hotel in Taunton for over 60 years. So it’s not surprising that Chapman has won a host of awards - including the Good Food Guide's Best Pub Chef and Tatler’s Best Young Chef (both in 2009).
Chapman gained an abundance of experience as chef de partie at Heston Blumenthal’s three-Michelin-starred The Fat Duck from 2000 to 2002, followed by a stint at the fashionable Kensington Place in London. Chapman then relocated to less formal settings when he was invited by Blumenthal to be head chef at The Hinds Head in Bray.
In 2007, Chapman became head chef at The Royal Oak Paley Street. Today, the Royal Oak is one of only 13 Michelin star pubs in the UK, and one of two pubs which also hold three AA Rosettes and a 6/10 rating by the Good Food Guide. According to the Times’ Michael Winner, The Royal Oak’s food ‘is what cooking should be. Superb ingredients, simple, done with stratospheric skill.’ A great example of Chapman's cooking can be found in his simple lemon tart recipe that delivers every time.
Chapman’s usual fare features a few more comfort foods than might be found on many Michelin-starred menus – like slow-cooked pork and smoked fish – though he raises even traditional foods to rarefied heights. He achieves this through attention to detail (techniques derived from his time in fine dining) and scrupulously selected ingredients - like the Spanish flour he imports for his fried River Exe sand eels because it makes them crispier.
Indeed, The Guardian’s Matthew Norman concluded his review of one of Chapman’s toothsome desserts by complaining that ‘any further description would risk violating the borderline between food criticism and pornography’.
Dominic has shared with Great British Chefs his quintessentially festive feast with all of its glorious trimmings: Christmas with Dominic Chapman and has recently provide a range of summer recipes including a perfectly grilled sea bass recipe that is ideal for barbecue time, a smoked haddock fish cake recipe and a playful strawberry jelly recipe.
For more information visit Dominic's blog.
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