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Chef's Table with Waters Edge café's Aneke Spacie

PUBLISHED: 11:34 21 July 2017 | UPDATED: 11:34 21 July 2017

From creative pop-up restaurants to her bustling cafe, Aneke is just happy cooking

From creative pop-up restaurants to her bustling cafe, Aneke is just happy cooking

Archant

Every month we discover what inspires Surrey’s top chefs. This time, we meet Aneke Spacie, owner of the Waters Edge café at Horsell Common, Woking

Norbury Blue would make Aneke's Surrey banquet dishNorbury Blue would make Aneke's Surrey banquet dish

Originally published in Surrey Life magazine July 2017

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What first inspired you to become a chef?

When I was seven a friend’s mum gave me an avocado filled with prawn mayonnaise and a flag on top. I was in awe of what I thought was food art – this was the 70s after all! I fell in love with the idea of playing with food. At the age of 13, I started washing up in our local restaurant. I’ll never forget it, £1.80 an hour to fill lemons with lemon sorbet (back to the 70s again!).

How did you come to be at Waters Edge?

I was balancing my career as executive chef at McLaren with looking after two small children. The journey began with intimate pop-ups at Byfleet Manor in 2012 but these grew to be such a success that a customer, who was fed up of not getting a table, offered us a site – what is now Waters Edge.

Tell us about your proudest achievements so far…

Winning the Surrey Life Food and Drink Award for best family dining, of course! Having a family and owning a family-focused business is wonderful.

Do you have a signature dish?

We are well known for our w’edge breakfast and brunch. My personal favourite is a simple choice of tomatoes and basil on posh toast with smoked garlic aioli and rocket. Our bread is made by a small independent bakery in Horsell with the ale mash from the brewery. This is what makes us special.

How do you go about sourcing your ingredients?

Just the other day, a cold and wet Sunday, we ran out of Sir Hans Sloane hot chocolate, which is based in West Byfleet. We called Brin and 10 minutes later we were re-stocked! Boz, our veg guy, is great at going to the market everyday and sourcing unusual varieties of vegetables and fruit.

Do you still enjoy cooking at home?

Yes! Always! Every day! My kids, Elysee and Etienne, simply love cooking with me too. They can make katsu curry by themselves and pancakes waffles. Elysee makes a lemon meringue pie that is simply heaven.

Finally, if you had to create the ultimate ‘Surrey’ dish for a banquet, what would it be?

Gosh, there are so many. Silent Pool Gin and tonic panna cotta with Chobham honey and lemon cake? Or a Norbury Blue soufflé with foraged berries and dandelion? I could go on if you want?!

• Waters Edge, Heather Farm, Horsell Common, Woking, Surrey GU21 4XY. Tel: 01483 726556. Web: http://surreywatersedge.com

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NEXT UP: The French Table’s Eric Guignard appears in August’s Surrey Life magazine

If you would like to feature in Surrey Life’s Chef’s Table column, e-mail matthew.williams@surreylife.co.uk

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