Meet the Chef - Guy Day, Weston Park

Guy Day at the pass

Guy Day at the pass - Credit: Archant

Guy Day is Executive Head Chef at Weston Park, an exclusive use stately home venue in North Shropshire. Guy joined Weston Park in 2005 from the Royal Yacht Britannia in Edinburgh and has built a reputation for thrilling house guests with classic flavours delivered with an inventive twist.

Tell us a bit about yourself. When did you first get involved in cooking?

My godmother owned and ran the Mendip Hotel in Somerset and we spent a lot of time there as a family. I suppose it was where I got my passion for entertaining – watching the guests enjoy themselves and then going back of house and seeing the work that went on in the kitchen and what made the place tick.

How did you get started as a chef?

I went to Weston Super Mare Catering College as well as working at the Cadbury House Country Club and cutting my teeth as a Commis Chef. You need to study the theory of course but there is nothing like on the job experience at the same time.

What is your signature dish?

Guinea Fowl with Broad Bean and Roast Garlic Ravioli. I am a great believer in keeping dishes simple and letting the flavours do the talking.

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If there was anyone in the world you could cook for who would it be?

I recently cooked for Heston Blumenthal when he was filming at Weston but cooking for other chefs, especially ones as high profile as Heston, is really stressful! I would like to cook for Trevor Brooking; as a West Ham fan he is a real hero of mine.

What do you eat at home?

I love Mediterranean flavours so it’s homemade pizza and pasta all the way. Most of my cooking has a Mediterranean influence; fresh and vibrant but comforting and rustic at the same time. Italian food is so delicious and there can be nothing nicer than a great big bowl of pasta in the middle of the table for everyone to dig into.

What is the kitchen ingredient no-one should be without?

It has to be onions and garlic. These ingredients are essential as a base for creating and bringing out flavour in everything from roasts to soups. I even put a few peeled cloves of garlic in my potatoes as they are boiling for mash and then once the spuds are drained, beat them in with plenty of butter and seasoning. Even if you are not looking for a really garlicky mash – it just gives the finished dish a lift.

What would you eat for your last meal?

Pan seared scallops served simply with lemon and garlic (again!) butter and a crisp green salad.

If you could dine at any restaurant in the world where would it be?

I am a huge fan of foraged food, especially nature’s larder in the autumn and I also try to source from as close as home as possible. There are fantastic artisan producers all over the country and I particularly like Chefs who create menus with the produce they have around them – one of these would have to be Simon Rogan at L’Enclume in Cumbria. I would love to take my wife there for dinner!

Favourite music to cook by?

It’s all about mood and depends what I am up to. During service I need the kitchen to be quiet and orderly but when we are prepping I am partial to a bit of rock such as The Alarm – bit nothing this side of the 90’s, must be showing my age!

What do you do to relax?

When I can escape from the kitchen I do like to walk and cycle. I live on the estate at Weston so I have one of the best back gardens in the country with 1,000 acres of Capability Brown Parkland to explore.

Weston Park, Weston-Under-Lizard, Shropshire TF11 8LE 01952 852 100

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