Meet the Chef - Lee Adams, Artezzan, Chester

Lee Adams of Artezzan and his son Arlo

Lee Adams of Artezzan and his son Arlo who has a taste for daddy's cooking - Credit: Lucas Smith

At Chester’s Artezzan, chef Lee Adams conjures dishes to inspire memories of long balmy nights in the Med, golden beaches and suntrap terraces. Here he reveals his favourite foodie memories and moments 

First dish you learned to cook?
The first dish I was taught to cook properly was a roast dinner by my Nanny Dora. How to make a proper gravy, crispy roast potatoes and roast beef.  

Most vivid childhood food memory?
Sitting at the local farm park with my dad eating homemade sausage rolls. I can still remember the taste of them to this day.  

Most memorable meal out? 
The restaurant near the top of the Eiffel Tower. We had a six-course tasting menu. The highlight was a deconstructed mushroom soup, which was the best I’ve ever tasted. 

Favourite ingredient?
Fresh truffles. In my opinion, they can enhance any dish – they have an amazing texture and a wonderful smell.  

Ingredient you loathe? 
Loathe is such a strong word. I feel every ingredient has its place somewhere, although personally, I don’t eat olives. I have tried to get myself used to the flavour but I just can’t do it.   

Favourite place to eat?
Anywhere that serves fresh, home-cooked food made with love.  

Describe your cooking style in three words:
Fresh, vibrant, flavoursome. 

If you weren’t a chef, what would you be?
I’ve spent my entire career in the hospitality industry, both front and back of house. I feel very lucky to be doing something I love, but if I had to choose I think being a beer sommelier would be right up my street.

Favourite country when it comes to food?
Italy. The food has such a wide variety of amazing ingredients only found in Italy, from vegetables to cured meats, cheese and seafood.  

Tell us about the menu at Artezzan:
The menu at Artezzan is a collation of flavour combinations widely found across the Mediterranean –dishes and flavours that are synonymous with France, Spain and Italy, that will evoke memories of bygone holidays.  

What are the food philosophies?
Fresh, homemade and honest.  

Who would be your dream dinner guest?
Gordon Ramsay. He is a man who is at the top of his game. What he doesn’t know about food isn’t worth knowing. He has an amazing work ethic and being able to pick his brain for an hour over dinner would be priceless.  

What’s your food guilty pleasure?
Cheese. I eat far too much of it, breakfast, lunch, dinner or supper. The smellier the better.  

When you’re not in the kitchen, what do you get up to?
I spend all my spare time with my wife Emma and 18-month-old little boy, Arlo. He is at an amazing age where he is discovering everything and he’s very adventurous with his food tastes. We also have two dogs, Toby and Sushi, who like to keep us very active. 

Artezzan 
Grosvenor Shopping Centre,
33 Pepper Street, Chester CH1 1DF
artezzan.com