Meet the Chef - Krystian Jurek, The Lion at Malpas 

Krystian Jurek , head chef at The Lion at Malpas 

Krystian Jurek , head chef at The Lion at Malpas - Credit:  The Lion at Malpas 

For more than three centuries, this creaky, beamed pub has been a central cosy hub for the people of Malpas, and after a thorough restoration and reopening in September 2020, it’s now drawing punters with its elevated pub dishes.

Here, head chef Krystian Jurek, formerly of The Thatch Inn at Nantwich, and Carden Park, reveals his favourite foodie memories and moments…  

First dish you learned to cook:
All of my childhood memories are around food – my whole family loves cooking and eating. My earliest memory would be smoking meats and making sausages with my dad, preserving peppers and cucumbers with my mum (she is famous for it ) and making fruit preserves. 

Most vivid childhood food memory:
When my dad made me try ‘Head cheese’. Google it and you'll understand 

Most memorable meal out:
When I was a young chef I had the tasting menu at The French at The Midland in Manchester. Absolutely everything on the plate was well thought out and tasted amazing.  

Favourite ingredient?  
I don't have a favourite. I like to take an ingredient and work with it to do everything I can with it. Every ingredient has merit.  

Ingredient you loathe?
I don't loathe anything.

Favourite place to eat?
I love eating anywhere you can feel the passion from the person cooking, whether it’s fine dining or street food. 

Describe your cooking style in three words: 
Simple. Tasty. Interesting.  

If you weren’t a chef, what would you be?
Definitely not something that involves being stuck behind a desk or working 9 to 5. Farming is in my family and I think the lifestyle would work for me.  

Favourite country when it comes to food?
The UK. It should be proud of its food culture. The other advantage within the UK is being able to experience many different food cultures. 

Tell us about the menu at The Lion:  
Local, seasonal, really good pub food and interesting takes on classic dishes.  

What are the food philosophies?
Our food is ethical (in relation to people and the planet) and preferably local (to support the local businesses) and must be tasty.  

Who would be your dream dinner guest?
Someone who pays the bill!. 

What’s your food guilty pleasure? I
’ve got so many.! I love street food and I love chocolate and can eat a giant bar in one sitting. I also enjoy a good kebab. 

When you’re not in the kitchen, what do you get up to?  
Writing menus, spending time with my family and cooking with my daughter. I also enjoy running and exploring the countryside.

The Lion at Malpas, 1 Old Hall Street, Malpas SY14 8NE