Meet The Chef: Leigh Evans

We spoke with Head Chef Leigh Evans of The Methuen Arms in Corsham to chat all things edible

With accolades including reaching the quarter finals of the coveted Masterchef: The Professionals in 2008, as well as being nominated this year for the 2017/2018 Parliamentary Pub Chef of the Year award, Leigh shows no sign of slowing down…

What inspired you to become a chef? Where did you train?
I grew up in our family run pub so I have always been involved in the industry. It started with making Yorkshire puds on a Sunday, to running my own service at 13. After getting a really solid grounding, I left home to move to bath where I started at the Royal Crescent Hotel. This is where I received a great amount of my training.

Working under three different head chefs in my 5.5 years there. Learning different styles and new techniques. It was an amazing opportunity and one I grabbed hold of and absolutely loved!

Do you have any culinary heroes?
Tom Kerridge has to be my culinary hero. He’s taken the humble pub, and elevated it to 2 Michelin stars. I love his food, and his robust flavours.

Describe your cooking philosophy in three words
Fun, flavoursome, consistent.

What’s next on the cards?
This year should be a big year for us. We are in the finals for Best Food Pub at the Food Mag awards, and reputation is building. We are looking forward to a busy summer with some exciting events.

What food takes you back to childhood?
A great sausage and mash.

What’s playing on your kitchen soundtrack?
It’s a real mix, my sous puts 60’s on one day and gangster rap the next. It’s an odd mix.

What’s your favourite winter dish?
It’s got to be something comforting – like a great lamb hot pot. But you cant beat a roast dinner. Us Brits love a roast, don’t we.

Name us three of your favourite restaurants.
The Hand and Flowers, Marlow. The Longs Arms, Wraxhall. Finally – Menu Gordon Jones, Bath.

What has been the toughest challenge of your career so far?
This Christmas period has to have been the toughest. It’s the busiest place I’ve worked, and I have a baby boy, so was hard juggling work and not getting much sleep. But it was massively rewarding.

What would you say to aspiring chefs?
Work hard. Understand that the hard work does pay off. But you have to make sacrifices to make it. It’s not all about money, that comes with time. Soak up everything, write everything down, and don’t be afraid to make mistakes. That’s how you learn.

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Web Editor for Good Things