Alex Fletcher (aka The Chunki Chef) is the new head chef at the Seawood Hotel and Restaurant with years of experience, working in top establishments.
His last venture, he helped open a new bistro restaurant in Derbyshire with a farm to fork ethos and after 10 months of the doors opening they won the best restaurant and best newcomer of the year in Derbyshire.
He has recipes in well-known magazines like Derbyshire Life, I’m Savvy and IN Magazine. He has brought great menu ideas and dishes to the Seawood Hotel and recently had a great menu review from a food expert/critic from Devon Life in July 2018
Check out his menu on the website www.seawoodhotel.co.uk
Soon Alex is publishing a recipe cookbook with over a 100 of his own recipes. Make sure you keep your eyes peeled for that.
So Alex, first of all welcome, I would like to ask how are you finding your big move from Derbyshire to Devon?
Very stressful at the start but now, I’m settling in and gradually bringing my quirky touch to the Seawood Hotel here in Lynton. Waking up early morning to the views and peacefulness is amazing when wanting to do menu writing and dishes! Its a very different area but the menu and food seem to be going down just great. I’m now looking forward to the summer season and getting into the Devonshire way of life.
What dishes are you bringing to the Seawood Hotel in the coming months?
Well there will be a lot in the coming months I change the menu on a weekly basis with local, seasonal and most importantly in my eyes fresh produce. Everything will be home cooked and made in-house by myself.
One of my most popular dishes is a locally sourced Venison Wellington. I like to make everything unique so with this dish I add a mushroom pate and wrap the venison steak in Sushi Nori and then add the puff pastry casing. I love Sushi Nori as it gives the Wellington a different and very unique flavour, it also keeps it moist and flavourful. I serve it with a creamy dauphinoise, seasonal vegetables and a rich juniper and wine Jus, It is a must try and recently being reviewed in Devon Life Magazine.
So on a more personal note what do you enjoy to do in you own time and whats the secrets of balancing your work/social life, do you ever switch off?
Well time is very scarce when you are in the food industry, I never really switch off I always have dishes and pairings popping into my head! Days off consist of still doing orders, checking temps etc, but I am very partial to a game of…
You don’t come across your posh rustic style menu very much, where did the idea/your inspiration come from?
I have always had the bug so to speak regarding rustic home cooked food, I love the ethos of farm to fork with everything being as fresh as possible.
I only enjoy making proper food and disagree with the controversial ‘ping’ products which have flooded the food industry recently, I say the food has to be made with love and enjoyment and it sure shows in the taste and quality of each individual dishes. So the posh rustic was kind of made up to suit my style with proper food plated well with a rustic twist.”
Have you always had an interest in running professional kitchens and I am also aware that you’re self-taught… you must be proud of what you have achieved?
If I’m honest I didn’t really see myself placed running busy, established, kitchens when I first started out. I’ve really enjoyed cooking from what I can remember and with no formal training or qualifications, I kind of fell into the industry and over time I’ve learnt on the job solely by myself, trial and error, if at first, you don’t succeed, try again, never give up! Sometimes it does grind you down kitchen life as its very long hours, very stressful and hot, but it is worth it.
So from where I was, to now, it is a massive achievement for myself and I say the only way is up I have the ambition and determination to go as far as I can.
Since Alex has taken the healm at The Seawood Hotel, it has been short-listed for The Tastiest Breakfast Awards 2018, a national competition with competitors from all over the country. Read more here
This post was created by a third party for Dining Devon