Meet the chef: Chris Bower, head chef at Thackeray's, Tunbridge Wells

The head chef at Thackeray's shares his top cookery tips with readers

Meet the chef: Chris Bower, head chef at Thackeray’s, Tunbridge Wells

The head chef at Thackeray’s shares his top cookery tips with readers

Tell us about yourself

After an exciting early career in Bradford, and London’s West End, including the Ivy and Chapter Two, I wanted to cook food in a way that better reflected my personality, and sought a role that would allow me more autonomy in the kitchen. In 2007 I made the move to Thackeray’s as head chef, choosing this restaurant because of its outstanding reputation. Since working here I have really enjoy myself; it has been great to work for such a talented chef as Richard Phillips and having loyal customers to cook for.

What’s your signature dish?

That’s got to be the assiette of Berkshire pork, which is served with pomme pur�e, creamed Savoy cabbage, apple compote and ginger and clove jus. It is a favourite of mine because it is so very simple and yet totally delivers with flavours and wow factor. This dish appears on the menu at times throughout the year.

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Your top cookery tip for readers?

The single most important thing for any chef, whether its planning a small dinner party, or running a kitchen catering for 80 covers is to be organised and plan ahead.  Preparing any kind of dish requires precise timings in order for everything to come together, so you should know your ingredients and have a clear plan as to how you are going to get the best out of them.

Who has influenced you most?

I have had the good fortune to work with some very exciting chefs, however, I do find Eric Chavot’s cooking inspiring and timeless.

Your must-have kitchen gadget?

That would have to be a wearing blender. It is used for soups and dressings and it is particularly useful when making pur�es.

Who would you like to cook for?

I would love the opportunity to cook for my tutors at college, at 16 we were all a little difficult to control. It would be great to invite them to Thackeray’s and find out what they think of my pork assiette.

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