Philip Hall, Head Chef At The Elvetham, Wintney Hook

Chef Philip Hall prepares banquets and feasts for events at The Elvetham - he gives a glimpse into the daily life of this fabulous venue...

Describe the events held at the Elvetham?

We cater for all kinds of events from small family parties such as christenings to large outside private functions and team building exercises. With all types of food from canap� receptions to full plated formal dinners.

What is the biggest event you have catered for?

The largest event we have catered for was for 500. It was an invitation event for all our regular customers to a mid-summer open evening with a large and varied selection of activities from duck herding to hot air balloons.

How many chefs do you have in your team?

I have nine full-time chefs and three part time chefs.

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How do you decide your menu?

All our menus are devised around the seasons and produce available, and the needs of the client as we are happy to change any dish to cater for tastes, diets and religions.

Have you ever had any unusual menu requests?

Probably the strangest request we have had was for Cornish pasties for a wedding served with mashed potatoes and baked beans.

Who did you train under and what did they teach you that you will never forget?

I trained at Granville College, Sheffield under the head lecturer Kevin Woodford. The most important thing that he taught me was that all chefs must have a respect for the food and ingredients they are using.

What is your favourite kitchen ingredient?

Fresh meat and salt and pepper

What is your favourite kitchen utensil?

My knives, I believe that a good set of chef knives are invaluable.

What local product do you most value?

A good butcher is what I value as I like to know that any meat we use has been cared for from field through to the delivery at the back door and then onto the plate. The butchers we use both listen to what our needs are and are more than happy to cater for any special ways that the meat needs to be butchered or jointed.

Marmite love it or hate it?

Hate it.

How do you source local produce?

All produce is sourced by talking to and listening to local suppliers who come in and have the time to talk and listen to us.

How do you relax?

By spending time with my family.

Name your favourite cheese?

Good ripe English stilton.

Wines - new world or old world and why?New world, because there are so many countries producing good wines with a wider selection of tastes, depths and


Contact The Elvetham, Hartley Wintney RG27 8AR.

Tel: 01252 844871.

The Elvetham is now booking for Christmas and New Year's Eve. Visit for information.