Hampshire Chef Profile

Name: David Wykes<br/><br/>Restaurant: Verveine <br/><br/>FishMarket Restaurant

Name: David WykesRestaurant: Verveine FishMarket Restaurant

How would you describe your menu?Predominately fish using locally sourced products, everything is made in house from the ravolis, bread, ice cream and sorbets. We create some interesting combinations and textures using modern equipment and techniques. We also benefit from having an in house smokery.

Describe your menu in five words?Seasonal, innovative, unique, thought provoking.

Which chef do you most admire?Inaki Aizpitarte he owns a small restaurant in Paris and he once said in an interview 'he doesn't try to reinvent the wheel he just looks for a new one'. I feel at Verveine our team really tries to do that.

How would you describe your approach to food?We try to keep ingredients seasonal and as local as possible producing clean and interesting flavours and textures.

What's been your best culinary idea?Smoking spiced vinegar poached chicken for our canap�s. It's incredible.

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How often do you change the menu?We change one or two dishes each week to really capture seasonality of the forest and the coastline.

What is your favourite ingredient?I don't really have a favourite as in our kitchen the same amount of thought and attention goes into each dish. A lobster is no better than an apple everything is treated equally.

What is your favourite kitchen utensil?I would have to say our Paco Jet machine, it gives us not only cleaner tasting and smoother ice cream and sorbets with a lot less sugar but also is so versatile and produces so many other products with better textures.

What's your most memorable meal?The Tasting menu at Raymond blancs manoir aux quat saisons. My brother and his wife took me on my 21st birthday so it was obviously very impressionable, the cooking was impeccable and without fault as you would expect and I can still describe each course today.

Who or what switched you onto cooking?I would have to say my mum, she is a great cook. Raised on a farm she has a wealth of knowledge from making chutneys, butter and clotted cream. I think I have the same appreciation as her for food.

What do you like most about your restaurant?Everything really! We really worked hard to create a comfortable, informal, stylish dining room with no compromise everything from the pebble granite counter top in the open kitchen, to the lit sculptured wall in the restaurant would not have been possible without my business partners attention to detail.

Where was the last farmers' market you visited and what did you buy?Went to the Food Festival in Christchurch and found a great Goats cheese from Sway which we now use in the restaurant. We were pleased to see that this goats cheese was also on sale at last years Milford on Sea Food Week.

Name a favourite Hampshire producer or supplier?We have a lot of really amazing local produce but one that stands out for me is S & J shellfish in Lymington, their crabs and lobsters are by far the best I've used, we serve our crab dish in their  sanded shells sat on pebbles.

Name the cooking hero/heroine who inspired you?Marco Pierre White his approach and attitude to cooking to me was very inspirational and struck a chord when I was 15 years old.

Verveine FishMarket Restaurant98 High Street, Milford on Sea, Hampshire, SO41 0QETel: 01590 642176

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