Interviewed February 2008
Aiden was the head chef at Michelin-starred Tom Aikens before moving to the Dorchestsr, where he produced some high class meals. He now runs his own restaurant, The Church Green in Cheshire.
Q – How long have you been cooking professionally?
Q – Where did you train to cook?
I went to catering college in Roby, Liverpool, and then became a chef at a very young age, so I learnt a lot from my own mistakes.
Q – How would you describe your style of cooking?
I really dislike this question, I’m not really a fan of being pigeon holed, I cook with as much British, seasonal produce as possible in the way I have been trained i.e. classically.
Q – Is there a secret for a successful restaurant?
Planning, hard work and pure determination from the whole team.
Q – Do you have a “signature dish” or favourite dish you enjoy cooking?
Not really a signature dish, but one I love serving at the moment is Rose veal fillet with lobster, apples and rosemary.
Q – Do you have a favourite ingredient?
Globe Artichokes; I just love how they can be so robust and so delicate at the same time.
Which restaurant do you most enjoy eating at on your night off?
Not really a night off, more of a journey but The Fat Duck. It’s always a pleasure and I learn something new every time I go there.
What is your most interesting or fun experience from your time in restaurants?
I was working in a very pressurized restaurant not so long ago, and one of the chefs drove a knife through the back of his hand to try and get out of service (it failed).
What would be your “last request” dish?
Nothing too elaborate, roasted chicken on a Sunday afternoon
Is there another chef that you most admire?
Tom Aikens for his constant drive and determination. Marcus Wareing for his patience and Heston Blumenthal for his consistent product.
Any advice you would give to someone wanting to become a chef?
Be patient, far too many chefs try to run before they can walk. If you cook for yourself the accolades will follow.
Any final thoughts you’d like to add?
Stick to British produce - if we don’t as chefs then who will? There is more than enough produce to go around; it is up to us chefs to set the benchmark.
Dorchester Grill Room