Chef Of The Month September 2016: Keith & Sonja

Keith & Sonja,
Red Dragon @ Kirkby Lonsdale

My mother was a chef so there was always a good chance that I would end up in the kitchen, at the age of 15 I began as kitchen porter at The Low Wood Hotel @ Ambleside. I also waited on at banquettes but a position became available for a junior chef at Penne Lane (now Café De Lago) and for the next 2yrs I began my education in the Kitchen.

                I had an opportunity to work in Dubai at the world famous Aviation Club Tennis Centre one I could not miss. I began in their 5* Italian Restaurant using the freshest of ingredients producing the finest dishes from scratch, pasta to rich Mediterranean sauces using fresh local sea food. I moved from here to a Portuguese restaurant within the complex again working to the same high standards.

I returned to Cumbria after several years and took up the position of Head Chef at The Burnside Hotel in Bowness staying there for 3yrs. From The Burnside I moved to The Albert in Bowness village as Head Chef, a very busy food lead Pub where I met Sonja my partner.

After 5 years here we felt the need to try something for ourselves and the opportunity to take on The Red Dragon @ Kirkby Lonsdale came along.  It had recently been refurbished keeping all of its charm as a village pub.

Working with the best local suppliers like Althams Butchers has meant that all of the experience I have gained over the years I can now show case on my menus. Weather it is a Full English breakfast or Roast Sirloin of Beef for Sunday lunch I like to think that the food we serve is good and honest. Something our customers will feel comfortable with and come back time and time again for, which they do, Sunday Lunch is now almost fully booked every week.

We have recently had our 7 letting bedrooms completely redesigned and renovated making them amongst the very best on offer in the village. With what we have achieved over the last 3 years and working closely with the likes of Althams Butchers and other local suppliers Sonja and I are looking forward to the future.



Medallions of Pork with Black Pudding

200g pork fillet 150g black pudding
4 Maris piper potatoes cubed
1 white onion 100g carrots
50g baby sweetcorn
50g baby broccoli
50g baby carrots
50g green beans
Pork stock 100ml
1 tea spoon grain mustard
50g salted butter
20ml double cream


Trim pork fillet cut into medallion and bat out with a meat hammer to approximately 1cm thick.

Sauté onion and carrots add pork trimmings add 100ml water and pork stock simmer for 1hour then strain.

Reduce stock until it thickens.

Boil cubed potatoes for 25 mins until cooked strain and add butter cream grain mustard salt and pepper mash until creamy.

Boil all baby veg for 1-2minutes and place in ice water.

Pan Fry pork medallions and black pudding for 1 minute each side place on a tray and put in the oven at 180 degrees for 5 minutes.

Heat a pan of butter with salt and pepper sauté all baby veg for 1-2 minutes ........bring all elements together and present however you want to