Meet the Chef: David Beaty of The Fig Tree in Hurstpierpoint
PUBLISHED: 16:08 31 October 2011 | UPDATED: 20:13 20 February 2013
David Beaty and his wife Monika have run The Fig Tree Restaurant in Hurstpierpoint since 2006. They have a passion for locally-sourced home-made food. Here David tells us more about his culinary influences
What is your signature dish?
Seared scallops with crispy bacon and Manchester caviar.
I never really enjoyed eating fish until I started working in Jersey where the fish and shellfish are so fresh. They tasted very different to what I was used to.
We get our fish from Newhaven and our local fishmonger where they inform us early in the morning what the day boats have caught. The key to this dish is the freshness of the seafood, and getting the right amounts of butter, salt and white wine vinegar in the crushed petit pois to enhance the flavour of the seared scallops.
How long have you been a chef?
What made you want to become a chef?
My mum is an excellent cook. We had a great time in the kitchen and she encouraged me to do what I really enjoyed.
Where did you start your career?
In Oxford, underneath the Randolph Hotel in a private club called Torso.
Who has influenced you most?
Other than my wife, family and reading anything from Anthony Bourdain, I would say my head chef in Oxford Batiste because of his passion and energy during service.
What do you enjoy most about being a chef?
There is not much about being a chef I dont like. I love passing on inspiration to young chefs, but above all it is having our own restaurant and being lucky enough to be situated where we are.
Your top cookery tip for readers?
Dont be afraid to try new recipes. If you dont make mistakes then you dont really make anything.
Your must-have kitchen gadget?
A diamond steel truffle slicer.
Who would you like to cook for?
Hugh Hefner, but it would have to be at his place.
The Fig Tree Restaurant
120 High Street
West Sussex BN6 9PX
T: 01273 832183