Chef Of The Month March 2016: Matt Cox
Executive Chef Signature Living
I started out working in pubs and small restaurants in my home town as a Kitchen porter and loved watching the chefs work. They seemed to me at 14 years old the coolest people in the business and I decided I wanted to be one of them. As soon as I got my chance I was hooked and could only see one career for me. I went to the local Catering College and continued to get some work experience in the local area throughout my time there.
At 18 I moved down to London to Work at Warren House near Kingston and learnt what a proper days work was. I then moved over to a small restaurant in South Wales called Steeples. From South Wales I moved back to England and the Aztec Hotel in Bristol and this is where I developed a love for working in hotels.
Moving back to Lancashire I worked in a restaurant called Inside out in Preston and within a year of it opening it won a bib gourmand in the Michelin guide and numerous other magazine and industry awards. I then moved to Casa Caterina as sous chef and worked with a near totally Italian team that specialised in fresh homemade pasta and Pizzas.
While at Casa Caterina I was approached by a friend who told me Marriot were recruiting, I managed to get a job as Senior Sous Chef and Stayed there for over 3 Years. I was then promoted to Executive Chef at Liverpool Marriott and stayed there for a further 3 and a half years. A year each in Radisson and Crowne Plaza led to me being approached to join the Signature Living team at 30 James Street Hotel in Liverpool.
The hotel company then opened the Shankly Hotel in Liverpool and I was asked to help open it as the opening head chef while carrying on with my Job at James Street. Now the company is getting bigger I have been promoted into the role of Company Executive chef and will head up the kitchen operation in all the new projects that are coming in 2016 and beyond.www.signatureliving.co.uk
Cannon of Lamb, Stornoway Black Pudding, Poached Peach, Celeriac Puree and Parmentier Potatoes, Roasting Jus.
Serves 4 People
1 Saddle of Lamb, Boned and rolled by Butcher
500g Stornoway Black Pudding
1 Glass of Red Wine
150ml Vegetable Stock
1 Medium Celeriac
100ml Whipping Cream
1 Banana Shallot
1 Sprig Thyme
1ltr Veal Stock
3 Maris Piper Potatoes
2 Cloves Garlic
Microshoots to garnish
Peel and Dice into 3cm Cubes the celeriac and place in a thick bottomed pan with the cream and vegetable stock.
Place on a moderate heat and cook the celeriac until soft.
Strain the celeriac and retain the cream mix.
Place in a food processor and blend until smooth, add a little of the cream mix at a time until a fine puree consistency.
Season to taste
In a pan put 25ml of Olive oil and Heat gently
Add to the oil, a finely chopped shallot, Crushed Garlic Cloves and the thyme. When the shallots are translucent add the port and red wine.
Reduce by half and add the veal stock.
Reduce till naturally thickened (Will depend on Quality of Veal Stock)
Peel the peaches and cover with water and sugar.
Cook Slowly until the peach is soft
Remove from the cooking liquor and retain
Peel and cut the potatoes into 2/3cm cubes and place in a pre-heated frying pan with a little oil.
When edges start to brown, place pan in oven and cook until the potatoes soften.
Cut each Cannon of Lamb into two and seal in a hot frying pan.
Place on a baking tray and place in a preheated oven (180o) and cook for 8-10 minutes, achieving a core temperature of 64o
Cut the Black pudding into 5cm chunks and place in a pre-heated frying pan. Aim to crisp the edges before putting into the oven for a further 6 minutes.
On a plate spread some of the Celeriac puree in the centre, Crumble some of the Black pudding over the top. Place the potatoes and peach around the plate. Cut each piece of lamb into 3 pieces and place around the potatoes and Peach. Drizzle with Veal Jus and decorate with some micro shoots.