Chef Of The Month February 2015: Gareth Owen

Gareth Owen,
The Belsfield, Lake District

I grew up in the Lake District and during my career week at school I had an opportunity to work in the kitchen of a local hotel and from then I got the bug. After my week work experience finished I knew exactly what I wanted to do and from there my passion has continued to grow.

I started my career at Lindeth Howe as a trainee under Head Chef Paul White who mentored and developed me to junior sous Level.After finishing at the Lindeth Howe I moved to the Queens Hotel in Troutbeck where I worked my way up to Sous Chef before finding my first appointment as Head Chef for Broadoaks Country House in Troutbeck. After nearly 3 years running the kitchen at Broadoaks I was ready for a bigger challenge and moved to The Belsfield Hotel during the refurbishment by Laura Ashley.

We operate 2 outlets, our fine dining restaurant 'The Belsfield' and our Brasserie, both with incredible views and surroundings which I aim to emulate with every dish I serve. Our team are focused on working with local suppliers, our offering aims to deliver a real taste of the lakes with guests enjoying the very best the area has to offer.


Roast Haunch of Venison, Sour Cabbage, Turnip, Kale & Ale Onions

Serves 4

  • 4 x 6oz Althams Venison Haunch Steaks

Venison marinade

  • 4oz red wine
  • 2oz cider
  • 1 chopped shallot
  • 1 cloves garlic crushed
  • 5 juniper berries crushed
  • 1 bay leaves
  • 1 sprigs of thyme
  • 1 sprigs of rosemary
  • Marinate for 12-16 hours

Sour cabbage

  • 250g white cabbage, finely shredded
  • 1/2 tablespoon Aspall Cyder Vinegar
  • 1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/2 tablespoon sunflower oil
  • 50g smoked streaky bacon, finely diced
  • 40g celery, finely diced
  • 40g onion, finely diced
  • 1/2 clove garlic, crushed
  • 60ml Riesling wine
  • 60ml white chicken stock
  • 1/2 tablespoon wholegrain mustard
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Fry bacon in a dry pan until crispy, remove from the pan, add butter & sunflower oil then celery, onion & garlic cook gently add bacon and cabbage cook until the cabbage is soft, add everything else and cook down until liquid is gone.

Ale Onions

  • 12 small shallots
  • 250ml ale
  • Knob of butter
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Peel shallots, melt butter in a pan add shallots cook on a medium heat until golden brown, sprinkle with the sugar, add the ale, let the onions poach in the liquid until tender if the onions are a little bitter from the ale increase the sugar.


  • 1 turnip
  • 200ml water
  • 200ml orange juice
  • 200g sugar

Peel and slice the turnip into 1 inch discs, using a small pastry cutter cut out barrel shapes, bring the liquids and sugar to the boil add the turnip and poach until tender.


Seal in a hot pan, add a knob of butter, transfer to oven for 6 minutes at 180 leave to rest in a warm place for 5-6 minutes carve and serve.