Proud Australian Brayden Davies has worked in some of the north’s best Michelin star restaurants, most recently as right hand man to Shaun Rankin at Grantley Hall in Ripon as well as at Michael Wignall’s The Angel at Hetton, Lancashire’s Northcote and Raby Hunt, near Darlington. Now newly and happily ensconced at the award-winning and internationally renowned Yorkshire favourite The Box Tree, Ilkley, the 26-year-old proud family man, now living in Skipton, is introducing subtle influences from his Australian as well as focusing on locally foraged ingredients. Here he shares his food loves.

First dish you learned to cook?:

My Mum taught me how to cook a great tasting beef bourguignon when I was about 14-years-old. It’s still an autumn and winter favourite. My partner and I love the rich, strong flavours created with the red wine and stock. It’s always good to come home to after a day of foraging.

Most vivid childhood food memory?

My maternal grandparents come from Preston in Lancashire, and whilst in Australia, Grandma would enjoy the tradition of getting all the family together for a celebratory family roast at Christmas and Easter. It’s not a common foodie theme in the Australian heat! I always remember it being a special treat - and it was the only time I was allowed to savour a proper British cuppa.

Most memorable meal out?

When I was 18 and travelling around Europe, I decided to eat at my first ever Michelin starred restaurant - the 2 Michelin starred Patrick Guilbaud in Dublin. I made my booking and went alone. It was an extraordinary experience and the team there were friendly and welcoming, especially when I admitted that I was an aspiring trainee chef. It’s probably this experience that kick-started my love of all things Michelin.

Favourite ingredient?

This is easy – it’s the Australian Finger Lime. It reminds me of home, where my Dad has a tree. The broad flavour variations and the tiny individual pearls make it a very flexible ingredient, for both sweet and savoury dishes.

Your go to snack?

Sensations Thai Sweet Chilli flavour crisps.

If you weren’t a chef, what would you be?

My main hobby is wine, so I’d probably be a wine maker. One day I’d love to have a go at creating my own wine brand.

Dream dinner guest?

I’m a huge sports fan and have three Aussie sporting heroes. If I’m allowed to pick more than one guest, I’d love to spend an evening with Spurs Manager Ange Postacoglu, Riley McGree who plays for Middlesbrough. And, as an Aussie living in Yorkshire, then it would be Aussie cricketer Nathan Lyon. It would be a lively conversation.

Guilty food pleasure?

It would have to be a rare ribeye accompanied with a beautifully smooth Chateauneuf du Pape.

Who are your Yorkshire food heroes?

I’d have to start with Shaun Rankin, who’s been a fabulous mentor during my time at Grantley Hall. I learned a lot in two and a half years; the most important knowledge is a broad awareness of the incredible quality of all the local Yorkshire ingredients available in this wonderful region. But, our great county has some excellent talent who I admire. From Michael O’Hare and Tommy Banks to one of this year’s Michelin winners, Josh Overington.

A hospitality person who inspires?

The Australian chef, Brett Graham, who inspired my love of the UK and to follow my dreams. Him attaining three Michelin stars last month is a fantastic inspiration to me.

A place you love to eat?

The White Swan at Fence in Lancashire has a relaxed vibe, with top tier food. It’s super relaxing and comfortable whilst servicing top class food and drink.

A career highlight?

Definitely being part of the team that got 4 AA rosettes at Shaun Rankin at Grantley Hall.

What’s next?

I’m keen to get to know all the restaurant’s guests - our regular diners and hopefully some new faces. Ultimately, I’m aiming to ensure that the Box Tree features on the map not only in Yorkshire, but nationally. It’s unique and outstanding heritage combined with my new, modern style of food is well worth a visit.

Brayden’s favourite dish

Tea and toast millefeuille. A nice play on the French classic using British flavours. It’s based on a cup of tea, toast with marmalade, inverted puff pastry with a Yorkshire Tea creme patisserie and marmalade gel between the layers. The dish is then finished with a roche of sourdough ice cream which we make using the offcuts of our homemade sourdough. British Life: Tea and toast millefeuilleTea and toast millefeuille (Image: The Box Tree, Ilkley)