Head chef Matthew Walker at the Pig & Truffle is inspired by celebrity chefs from the era when chefs ‘did what it took to get the job done’

Tell us a bit about yourself...

I’m the head chef here at the Pig & Truffle and have been since October last year. Prior to this I have a background in Michelin kitchens as well as film and TV catering (far less glamourous than it sounds) and have been fortunate enough to have travelled a fair bit doing what I love.

When did you first get interested in cooking?

I owe my hard-working nature to my parents, both working class folk who gave everything for myself and my sister. My dad has always been a catering butchery manager, so I guess it was in my blood to be in the industry. I started working from a very young age in kitchens as a porter and I guess the passion for cookery really comes from my inquisitiveness and desire to get my hands out of the dish water and into the pans.

What is your signature dish?

It’s really difficult to have one single signature dish as everything is expected to not only be immaculate but also be a true representation of you and everything you love about food! If we’re going off what sells well here it would be the Dingley Dell pork belly.

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

My nan, grandma and grandpa as they’ve all passed, and I would love them to see how far I’ve come.

What do you eat at home?

Simple fair really, homely food like sausage and mash, cottage pie some pasta maybe!

Which kitchen ingredient could you not do without?

Maldon sea salt for perfecting those dishes.

If you could dine at any restaurant, where would it be?

It would have to Osteria Francescana by Massimo Bottura in Modena Italy.

What would you eat for your last meal?

Plenty of foie gras with a bottle of Bordeaux red.

Favourite music to cook by?

Jazz, house - something with good lyrics and a decent beat, even a bit of classical every now and then.

What do you do to relax?

‘Alexa play that jazz album I like’ followed by opening a good bottle of wine.

Who is your culinary hero?

I have a few: Gordon Ramsay, Marco Pierre White, Raymond Blanc, Anthony Bourdaine, Pierre Koffmann... back when chefs were chefs, hard as nails and fearless and did whatever it took to get the job done!

The Pig & Truffle, The Street, Little Dunmow, CM6 3HT
01371 821660