Food Story – Interview with the Kerry Pearce, Head Chef at Ettington Chase
What made you want to be a chef and when did your love of food first start?
From a young age my family has worked in the hospitality industry so it was only natural for me to pursuit this career pathway as well. I first started by working in the hotel laundry room moving into housekeeping and then later into the kitchen. I remember during my lunch breaks, I loved watching the chefs do their magic, it made me feel like I was home.
As for the love of food that started when I was young and used to spend a lot of time with my grandparents. Both my grandparents loved cooking and had a unique style, everyone just loved their dishes, especially my grandma’s special butterfly cake.
Do you have any stand out dishes or packages which are popular with corporate guests? What can they expect to eat when attending an event at your venue?
The most popular dishes on our menu are the traditional pie & mash, and the fish & chips. Here at Ettington Chase, part of The Venues Collection, we have just launched the new lunch menus. So, whether you want something light and healthy or a full plate of food we offer it all.
What options are available for bigger events such as celebrations, parties and conferences? And how much prep is required for these types of events?
A conference lunch consists of finger food which allows delegates to move around freely which is great for socialising whereas for dinner we offer a more formal sit-down meal in our restaurant consisting of a starter, main dish and a dessert.
Do you use locally sourced ingredients and produce, and does this change seasonally? What would you recommend for a small-scale meeting in the summer compared to the winter? Would it vary?
Our menu changes with the season, so we can offer fresh food and keep up with the industry trends as well. In addition, for our evening menus we offer different daily specials that allows us to showcase our kitchen skills but it also gives my team the opportunity to test an idea.
How important a role do you feel food plays in the success of an event and its objectives?
Every aspect of the venue plays a part in the conference, from the delegates arrival to their departure. However, during a conference or a meeting, it is the food that brings people closer and offers the opportunity to build connections outside the room.
What three reasons would you give event organisers to choose your venue/hotel for their next event?
Ettington Chase has stunning grounds but also it is really close to main roads and rail access. In addition, we have a friendly and attentive staff with a can-do attitude.