Meet the chef: Michael Lyons

Michael Lyons. Photo: Fraser Renton

Michael Lyons. Photo: Fraser Renton - Credit: Archant

Michael’s company Arundelicious offers gourmet food delivered straight to customers’ doors

What first inspired you to become a chef?

My grandma! She was a great cook and I enjoyed helping her in the kitchen when we went to visit her on the weekends. I loved watching all the ingredients being mixed together and seeing what dishes would be created. I also used to watch Anton Mosimann (The Savoy) on various TV shows as well as Keith Floyd from the series Floyd on Food... these greats really planted the seed for me wanting to chef as a career. Which career achievements are you most proud of?

I am very proud of my time working at the Honourable Artillery Company (HAC) at the Armoury House in the city of London which was connected with The London Guild Hall. I had the privilege of cooking for various members of the Royal family who were guests of honour at annual dinners. I also cooked for various heads of state and members of chambers of commerce from around the world. I’m also very excited about the future growth of my company Arundelicious. The feedback I have been receiving from both clients and local businesses and providers is that I am doing the right thing at the right time.

Do you have a signature dish?

For vegetarians, it has to be my aubergine Parmigiana - layers of grilled aubergine drizzled with cold-pressed rapeseed oil, ciabatta crumbs, rich tomato sauce, ripped basil, mozzarella and parmesan cheese. The colours are so vibrant and the texture and taste is wonderful! For meat lovers you can’t beat a Sunday roast and our new season leg of lamb is a weekend winner!

What’s your favourite dish to cook at home?

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A thick cut pork loin steak, seasoned with garlic and salt and seared on a hot grill pan. To accompany it - roasted shallots and a few fried désirée potatoes and a spoonful of mustard.

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What’s in your fridge at the moment?

There are way too many things to list as it is full to the brim, but it includes carrots, swede, broccoli, cauliflower, cured meats, Sussex jams and chutneys, Sussex cheeses, lemons and limes etc. As mentioned, I have just introduced some English new season lamb to the menu. The half leg we had at the weekend was delicious and the cold meat has been perfect for sandwiches this week.

What is your culinary guilty pleasure?

It has to be my ‘MR Chocolate Roulade’ ... a recipe that has been passed down from generations and a completely moreish desert.

Where do you like to eat in Sussex if you ever get out of the kitchen?

My friend Tom Harker and his wife Debs have a business in Selsey called Umble Pies, so I like to go over and eat a good hand-cooked steak and ale pie. My partner and I like to eat at The George in Eartham or The Black Horse gastro pub in Binsted near Arundel. Both serve great food at great prices.

What is your favourite Sussex delicacy?

Cheese, cheese and more cheese. We have fantastic producers here in Sussex and I truly believe Sussex cheese is underrated. I like to use The Cheeseman, based in Portslade, when he brings the van every Wednesday and I have a taste and a spend, but only cheeses produced in Sussex.

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