Q&A: Adam Bateman, the cage-fighting chef

Adam Bateman, Walton Hall & Hotel

Adam Bateman, Walton Hall & Hotel - Credit: Archant

We find out more about Adam Bateman, the cage-fighting chef in Warwickshire with a penchant for freshly-baked bread.

Name: Adam Bateman

Restaurant: Walton Hall & Hotel

Address: Walton, Warwickshire, CV35 9HU

Tel: 01789 842424

Q - What is your earliest memory of food?

A - My earliest food memories are the large family get-togethers at my grandfather’s house - with the smell of coconut milk and jerk chicken filling the room.

Q - What is your favourite dish to make?

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A - Bread of all varieties; it’s as a living and breathing creature that needs care, attention and respect. It gives a great sense of accomplishment once it’s finished baking, and nothing quite beats the aroma of it filling the kitchen.

Q - What would you say are your greatest achievements in the last 12 months?

A - I was delighted to have been nominated for a Hotel Catey award in 2014. I was shortlisted to the final three and it was fantastic and humbling to receive the recognition from the industry, and a great evening was had by all at the Westminster Plaza in London. Sore heads all round the next morning!

Q - How did the nomination and shortlist process come about?

A - I was nominated by peers in the industry I believe in recognition for my working practices, with the support of local colleges and the local community. The shortlisting is a closed process with judging from industry leaders and previous winners.

Another huge achievement for me was my promotion to group executive chef for The Hotel Collection, now overseeing 21 hotels, 21 kitchens and over 100 chefs! Exciting and challenging times ahead, and a great opportunity to focus on food and beverage offerings for the portfolio.

What advice would you give to a novice?

Our industry can be so rewarding, but requires 110% commitment at all times so make sure it’s what you really want to do! “You can’t teach a chef their palate, but you can teach a chef to season.”

Q - What is your favourite piece of equipment to use?

A - There’s a vast range of equipment and chef toys available out there, BUT at the moment it’s ‘dessert spoon wars’ among us to produce the perfect quenelle.

Q - Have you ever had any cooking disasters?

A - Chef’s rule No.1: What happens in the kitchen stays in the kitchen.

Q - What has been your most memorable meal?

A - Wow, so many to choose from… I’d have to say Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, Royal Hospital Road, February, 2010. Exquisite food, exemplary service, and it was also the day I proposed to my wife!

What is your favourite local ingredient?

Lighthorne Lamb. My mucker Dave Tompkins rears superb lamb on the green pastures of Warwickshire, just up the road from us.

Q - What’s in your fridge at home?

A - GIN, GIN, GIN, ½ bottle tonic, few slices cucumber, and a wedge of lime. Cheers!

Q - What is your favourite local restaurant?

A - Paw Paw in Warwick; it’s my local Chinese takeaway. It’s consistent, which is always important with food, has fresh ingredients, is full of flavour, and fast!

Q - Kitchens can be stressful places. How do you relax in your spare time?

A - Spare time – what’s that? Ha ha! I’m a keen road cyclist, I’m also passionate about mixed martial arts - gone are the days of taking frustrations out on a commis chef. Now it’s a punchbag in a sweaty gym… a cage-fighting chef!