Fernando Stovell from Stovell's in Chobham - Meet the Chef
PUBLISHED: 19:06 16 December 2013 | UPDATED: 19:06 16 December 2013
Opened at the end of 2012, Stovell's in Chobham has had an incredible first year culminating in chefs Fernando and Kristy Stovell claiming the Surrey Life Chef of the Year title. Here, Fernando steps out of the kitchen and into our Q&A firing line...
On your travels, have you found a food or drink producer in Surrey that you are particularly fond of?
I really like the Norbury Blue cheese company. It’s owned by Michaela and Neil, a very passionate couple who believe in their product. In fact, we took our first delivery from them for our cheeseboard just after the Surrey Life Food & Drink Awards luncheon.
Is there a farmers’ market that you would always add to your monthly diary?
I’m a big fan of Guildford Farmers’ Market and the Saturday markets that are held in the town. We live over in Deepcut and sometimes, as we are closed on Saturday lunch-times, I’ll head over to pick up some bits and pieces after watching Saturday Kitchen.
How about a farm shop?
One of my chefs lives close to Garsons Farm in Esher and we have used their produce from time to time. It’s been a family business since 1871 and seems as popular today – impressive!
Is there another chef currently working in the area whose cooking you particularly admire?
Steve Drake, who owns Drake’s in Ripley, is an outstanding chef and a really nice guy too. In many ways, I identify with him as we share similar cooking techniques. His restaurant is certainly one we’d recommend people visit – after checking first whether we’re full, of course…
If you were asked to make a signature Surrey dish, what would yours be?
A very Surrey dish would be warm aromatic foie gras, barbequed silver skin onions, toasted Kentish cob nuts, hay dressing and nasturtium followed by loin, leg and saddle of rabbit, pickled turnips, pistachio, yarrow, parsley and water celery purée.
For our vegetarian friends, I’d cook an allium consommé chargrilled on vine embers with pickled sweet onion, gruyère and Pedro Ximénez cream. I’m a slightly mad chef and I sometimes create my own tools to achieve the effects I’m looking for. So we’ve got a 10-litre pot that we’ve cut out and put a chimney through, which we place over burning wood to smoke our consommé and similar. It creates some wonderful flavours.
What would you say is the most distinctive aspect of your cooking?
First and foremost, I’d say our cooking is very honest. We use meticulously sourced ingredients throughout our menus and have the expertise to create consistently fantastic dishes. We aspire to more awards and a Michelin listing in the near future.
Taste Fernando’s cooking at Stovell’s, Windsor Road, Chobham GU24 8QS. Tel: 01276 858000 / stovells.com
Claim a free glass of Prosecco Jeio on arrival at Stovell’s by mentioning Surrey Life Chef of the Year when dining there during the month of December 2013.