Meet the Chef: Stephen Crane at Ockenden Manor Hotel and Spa
PUBLISHED: 14:27 15 June 2012 | UPDATED: 21:29 20 February 2013
Stephen Crane is chef at Ockenden Manor Hotel and Spa. He would most like to cook for Alex Ferguson so he could pick up some tips for his local football team.
What is your signature dish?
Roast spring chicken with white beans, butternut squash, purple sprouting broccoli and crispy drumstick, served with a chicken jus.
Tell us about the dish, why you likecooking it and what makes it special.
I like this dish because it utilises the whole chicken, even the less fashionable cuts and it is a seasonal dish as well.
How long have you been a chef?
What made you want tobecome a chef?
I started washing up at Highley Manor in Balcombe when I was a teenager and I totally fell in love with the hustle and bustle of the kitchen. It just developed from there really.
Where did you start your career?
I had an apprenticeship at the Gatwick Penta Hotel.
Who has influenced you most?
Marco Pierre White has always really inspired me he was the youngest chef to win three Michelin stars, he showed that it is possible!
What do you enjoy most about being a chef?
Cooking! I am still inspired by the environment of the kitchen, working with the best seasonal food and with a fantastic team of chefs and waiters around me.
Your top cookery tip for readers?
Always keep your kitchen as clean and tidy as you possibly can. Then cooking becomes easy!
Your must-have kitchen gadget?
I completely rely on my palette knife, it lives in my back pocket. However the best gadget is the Thermomix blender, it is in constant use in the kitchen at Ockenden, we use it for soups, mousses, pures and you can even make crme brulee with it. It has a great steaming attachment for making dumplings too!
Who would you most like to cook for?
Alex Ferguson, I am a huge Manchester United fan. I run a local football team in Balcombe and I would love to pick his brains and improve my football knowledge.