Interviewed July 2011
Steve Terry is head chef of The Hardwick in Wales, settling there after a distinguished career in London kicthens, including the legendary Harveys.
Q – How long have you been cooking professionally?
Since I was 18. I’m 44 now, so that’s 26 years in the business!
Q – Where did you train to cook?
I went to college at Barnfield in Luton.
Q – How would you describe your style of cooking?
Seasonal and accessable. In my presentation I like to consider how the customer will eat the dish without it looking like a dogs dinner within 2 minutes.
Q – Is there a secret for a successful restaurant?
I would say cook food that you honestly think people will enjoy and understand but without compromising your creative integrity. And give value for money.
Q – Do you have a “signature dish” or favourite dish you enjoy cooking?
I simply enjoy cooking quality seasonal produce with the minimum of fuss.
Q – Do you have a favourite ingredient?
Anything that is Welsh or local and in season.
Which restaurant do you most enjoy eating at on your night off?
Scotts, Mayfair when in London and The Walnut Tree, Llandewi Skirrid, near Abergavenny which is on my doorstep for a night off.
What is your most interesting or fun experience from your time in restaurants?
Working in Harvey’s back in the day with Tim Hughes (now Exec Chef/Director Caprice Holdings) and Gordon Ramsay. So many stories…. but what goes on tour etc etc
What would be your “last request” dish?
A Super-Artisan Club Sandwich: Amazing dry cure local bacon from Graham at Native Brreds, Smoked Chicken from Black Mounain Smokery, Heritage tomatoes, my Father-in law’s chicken’s eggs. Pasquale’s lettuce from Tredillion Farm, mustard mayo and a stack of skinny fries and onion rings from Mustard’s Grill, Napa Valley.
Is there another chef that you most admire?
Shaun Hill for his infinite knowledge of cooking, his knowledge of wine and his amazingly dry sense of humour!!
Any advice you would give to someone wanting to become a chef?
Think really long and hard about it before you do. If you want to become a chef because you love food then just stick to eating it!! If it’s because you feel you are creative then do something that involves working with less people!!
Any final thoughts you’d like to add?
None that I can think of.