Meet the Chef

PUBLISHED: 01:16 25 July 2011 | UPDATED: 19:45 20 February 2013

Meet the Chef

Meet the Chef

Craig Baldwin is the chef at The Foresters Arms in Graffham...

Craig Baldwin is the chef at The Foresters Arms in Graffham. He likes to be experimental and enjoys the fabulous local produce he uses in his kitchen.

What is your signature dish?
It is hard to pinpoint one single dish over another. I try and put a lot of thought and attention into each dish I create from how it will taste to how it will look so I guess they are all my favourites!

At the moment we are using some fantastic lamb rump from local farms and estates across the South Downs. Also the seafood we get from Selsey and Portsmouth is excellent this time of year so I keep it simple with seared squid, prawns and local samphire on linguine with shellfish bisque. It goes down pretty well with a glass of chilled rose!

How long have you been a chef?
I have been a chef for 12 years, starting out as a salad chef to where I am now, heading up my own kitchen.

Why did you decide to become a chef?
I have a passion for all things food. I love learning new things and hopefully inspiring others along the way.

What do you enjoy most about being a chef?
The praise from customers! Joking aside, I love to create new dishes. Some can be a bit left-field so the boss can sometimes take a little warming up to the idea, but mostly it is about enjoying the time to work out how the flavours balance and making subtle changes to proven dishes.

Plus no two days are the same. It is a real buzz having a busy service and making it out the other side knowing everyone is happy.

Your top cookery tip for readers?
Dont be afraid to try something new. There are so many excellent books, blogs and websites that can take you through the recipe step by step.

Your must-have kitchen gadget?
Not very gadgety but essential. Buy the best quality knives you can afford. Keep them sharp and avoid putting them in the dishwasher.

If you could cook for anyone in the world who would you like to cook for?
On a famous level probably John Torode because I think hes a fair and constructive critic but on a personal level, I rarely get time to cook at home so to Id like to spend more time cooking for myself and friends.

Name: Craig Baldwin
Establishment: The Foresters Arms
The Street, Graffham, Near Petworth, West Sussex. GU28 0QA
01798 867202

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