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Interview with Nathan Eades – Executive Chef at The Montagu Arms Hotel
INTERVIEWS

Interview with Nathan Eades – Executive Chef at The Montagu Arms Hotel

This week we caught up with Nathan Eades, Executive Chef at fine-dining, award-winning restaurant, The Terrace at The Montagu Arms Hotel.

Can you tell us what inspired you to become a chef and your journey in becoming a chef?

I really fell into cooking if I’m honest; I originally wanted to be in the RAF but that didn’t work out for one reason or another. I started pot washing at my local pub on the weekends whilst doing my A-levels and a chef didn’t turn up one day, so I got involved and the rest is history really. Plus, when I was a child, I can remember making mince pies with my Nan at Christmas. She has just turned 90 and still makes them for us every year!

When it comes to my background and training, I did an apprenticeship at Worcester College of Technology for two years and after that it was really going in/around kitchens and learning on the job. It wasn’t until I went over to Canada in my early twenties that I joined The Wedgewood Hotel, where Lee Parsons was Executive chef, who now runs his own restaurant in Arundel The Parsons Table (ex Claridges & Le Manoir aux quat’saison). Lee really understands food and can turn anything into pure magic on a plate; it was infectious and really inspiring.

From there, I managed to go to several places spanning the UK, most recently as Head Chef at 1M* Simpsons in Birmingham and Lady Bamford’s pub, The Wild Rabbit in Kingham. I’m delighted to now be Executive chef at the award-winning fine-dining restaurant, The Terrace at The Montagu Arms in Beaulieu, New Forest.

For those who haven’t eaten your incredible food at The Montagu Arms, how would you describe it, and what dishes can guests find on the menu?

Having trained in French classical cooking, my menus focus on British home comforts reimagined in exciting ways whilst using traditional techniques, resulting in modern but unpretentious dishes. Guests can expect big, bold and defining flavours as well as delicate and refined choices that evoke nostalgia linked to comforting classics that are elevated with modern twists and surprises. The menus also champion seasonality and fresh hyper local Hampshire ingredients.

The Hampshire larder is one brimming with fantastic produce which is great when it comes to creating a dynamic menu using ingredients from the hotel’s own kitchen garden. I can’t wait to use the Pannage Pork this Autumn and have enjoyed utilising the best summer produce off the Isle of Wight. There are plenty of great producers and wholesalers in the area too such as our friends next door, Bellord & Brown. It is a chef’s dream! Some of my favourite dishes on the menu include Hampshire Beef Fillet & braised cheek, with spinach, pommes anna and black truffle; my signature Old Winchester Cheese Tartlet with Roscoff onion, pickled walnuts and yeast flakes; and the Crispy Duck Egg with English peas, smoked bacon and Montagu chard.


Are you working on anything new, that you can tell us about?

I have a few things up my sleeve but at the moment, we are focused on showcasing the very best of what’s in season and focusing on preparing and finalising our Christmas menus.

Do you have any culinary heroes?

Legendary Alain Ducasse is my favourite chef of all time. He shows a huge respect for seasonal ingredients and knows how to elevate them whilst maintaining their integrity. Lee Parsons is also one of my culinary heroes as he taught me a lot and then of course, my nan who inspired me from a young age, and still does.

What advice would you give someone who is training to be a chef?

Never give up and be persistent. It’s a cliché but honestly for me, when I am in the hiring process, attitude and commitment are two attributes that will always trump skill. You can be the Lionel Messi of the kitchen, but if your attitude stinks, no one will want to work with you!

If you had a free day in London to do what you want, where would you go?

If I had a free day, I’d probably visit my favourite city, Birmingham but London really isn’t very far away and I do love visiting my friends there, so no doubt I’d be catching up with them over some delicious food with a few pints too.

For more information on The Montagu Arms Hotel visit: www.montaguarmshotel.co.uk

Photography courtesy of The Montagu Arms Hotel

#chef #NathanEades #TheMontaguArms

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