Ask the Chef - Ginny Addison, Chef at Barleymow's Restaurant near Chard, Somerset

Ginny Addison, Chef at Barleymow's Restaurant, shares her memories and favourite foods with Somerset Life

Barleymow's Farm Shop and Restaurant is situated near Chard

Ginny Addison, Chef at Barleymow’s Restaurant near Chard in Somerset, shares her memories and favourite foods with Somerset Life What triggered your move into becoming a chef?

From a young age I used to cook with my nan. Everything was homemade – fresh bread, cakes, scones and, being a Yorkshire girl, lots of yorkshire puddings. What inspired me to become a chef was when, at the age of 16, I was a nanny for two years, cooking for a large family of nine. They enjoyed my food, so then I wanted to please more people. It gave me great satisfaction.

What was your training in food?

I trained for two years at Doncaster College and gained my City & Guilds Level 1 & 2 and an Advanced Hygiene certificate.

What are your favourite food memories?

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My favourite food memories are baking cakes with my nan, and sitting with her by the open fire peeling vegetables for the Sunday roast.

How would you describe the style of dining at Barleymow’s?

Good homemade traditional comfort food made with our own or local produce. Everything is cooked fresh daily and is good value for money.

What was your favourite meal as a child?

My auntie Joyce’s cauliflower cheese and homemade chips. She used to take the leaves off the cauliflower, gently remove the stalk from the middle, and cook the cauliflower whole. Then she would cover it with lots of thick cheese sauce and grated cheddar, and bake it in the oven until golden-brown.

What would you cook on a day off?

A roast dinner with Yorkshire puds... that’s got to be a favourite for myself and my three children.

What attributes does a chef require?

Good organisation, keeping cool under pressure, a good sense of humour and, of course, lots of passion about food.

What do you love most about the produce here in Somerset?

The great thing we have here is the beef and lamb that is produced from Barleymow’s own farm, alongside all the other local produce that we use from the shop. The butchers hang the beef in the traditional way, for a minimum of two weeks, to give the best flavour, and it is cut to my exact liking.

What is the most significant culinary lesson you have ever learned?How to make Yorkshire puddings! My grandad taught me the way he made them in the Army.

What is your most favourite kitchen tool?

It’s got to be a wooden spoon. I have nearly always got one in my hand, and they’re great for sauces.

What was your most memorable meal?

A sirloin steak, cooked to perfection, in a small restaurant on Douglas seafront on the Isle of Man.

What would you be if you weren’t a chef?

I would work with children because at heart I’m still a child myself!

Visit Barleymow's

Barleymow’s Farm Shop and Restaurant, Near Chard, TA20 3PS. 01460 62130,

Opening times:

Monday-Saturday 8.30am (for breakfast)-5pm; Sunday 8.30am-4pm (for Sunday roast)

If you have visited Barleymow's Restaurant and loved it, why not share your thoughts on the Somerset Life Forum:

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