Chef Of The Month July 2017: Carl Semple

Carl Semple,
Merewood Country House Hotel

As with a lot of chefs I started in the kitchens washing pots in Bars and Pubs in around Wrexham where I was brought up.

My first job as a chef was at Carden Park @ Chester whilst I was at college,  I started full time once I had finished the course, working with Graham Tinsley over the following 2yrs I gained a wealth of experience and knowledge that was to carry me forward throughout my carrier.

I then moved to Holt Lodge Hotel @ Wrexham which was largely a corporate and wedding led venue. From here I remained in Wales but moved to the coastal town of Abersoch and to the 2 rosette Porth Tocyn Hotel adding to my AA rosette experience.

My next move was to take me to America and to Boca West Country Club in Boca Raton, Florida. This was catering on a scale that I had never experienced before serving on average 5,000 meals per day. I was part of a vast team of chefs serving differing styles of food through multiple restaurants, bars and cafes, from the formal Panache restaurant through to the pool side bar.

I returned to England and Soughton Hall @ Northop where I was to meet and work for the first time with Jamie who is now my Sous Chef @ Merewood.

From here I moved up to the Lake District to work for English Lakes Hotels @ The Water Head in Ambleside and then onto The Low Wood Hotel.

In 2007 I started what was to be the first of 2 stints at The Merewood Hotel as Sous Chef to my now great friend and long serving Head Chef Leon Whitehead. He helped me further expand my knowledge of food and the kitchen, which I used to good effect when seeking to further my career I took up the position of Head Chef @ The Wheatsheaf in Brigsteer. It was here that I gained my first AA rosette.

When the Wheatsheaf closed down, at a loose end I moved back to The Merewood Hotel to work with Leon. During this time I went on work experience to Cliveden House @ Taplo and Galvin @ windows London.  In 2015 Leon left to open his own restaurant. I was offered the position of Head Chef which I took with no hesitation. In 2016 the team and I gained our first AA Rosette and this soon was followed in 2017 with the hard work and dedication of Jamie and the team with a Second AA Rosette.


Cured Beef

  • 140g of Sea Salt
  • 140g of Maple sugar
  • 125ml of Carola Oil
  • 1tsp of Pepper Flakes
  • 1tsp of Fresh Ginger
  • 1tsp of Chopped Star Anise
  • Pinch of Ground Cloves
  • 1  x Rump Fillet of Beef

Horseradish Cream

  • 2tbsp of Grated Horseradish
  • Zest of 1 Lemon
  • 1tbsp of Dijon Mustard
  • 45ml of Maple Syrup
  • 1cup of Double Cream
  • Tabasco to taste
  • Pinch of Chopped Fresh Herbs


  • Confit Egg Yolk
  • Pickled Shallot Rings
  • Bone Marrow Croutons
  • Onion Ash
  • Capers
  • English Mustard Mayo


1                    Mix first list of ingredients and coat the Rump Fillet then vac and leave for 36hrs.

2                    Then place into freezer to temper for 1-2hrs before slicing.

3                    Mix all the ingredients for the Horseradish Cream together and season to taste with the Tabasco.

4                    Arrange on to the plate and garnish.