The Tudor Room chef Tony Parkin ahead of Woking Food & Drink Festival
PUBLISHED: 14:27 06 August 2019
Tony Parkin, new head chef at The Tudor Room at Great Fosters, tells us his plans for the restaurant and what you can expect from his appearance at Woking Food Festival from August 31 to September 1 2019
What made you want to join The Tudor Room?
I grew up in nearby Berkshire, so I wanted to be closer to that area but mainly, because I have spent a long time working under other people, this job gives me my own platform and an opportunity to do what I want to do.
How are you planning to put your stamp on the menu?
Well, my name has already gone above the restaurant so I suppose that's one way but really it's just introducing people to my food style, which is very simple and ingredient-led. I don't really fuss around too much. There is a lot of work that goes into it, it just doesn't look like it. I don't like to bang on about the techniques I use, because I don't want people to worry about that - at the end of the day, they're coming here to go out for dinner.
How important are ingredients?
I develop stuff about three weeks in advance and work very closely with seasons. So, as soon as an ingredient comes in season I might have a dish on for just two weeks, while that ingredient is in season and than take it off again. My dishes are often quite Thai inspired.
What first inspired you to become a chef?
My mum and dad were professional chefs, but actually got out of the trade because they hated it and I suppose, being the middle child and the only boy, I wanted to kind of wind them up by becoming a chef!
Which career achievements are you most proud of?
I suppose winning a Michelin star at the age of 30 because I'd always set my sight on that. But I think that lasting in this trade for so long and at this high level is a big achievement too.
What will you be doing at Woking Food & Drink Festival?
I'm going to be demonstrating one of my signature dishes - a slow roasted piece of turbot with seasonal vegetables and a very hot and sour Thai broth. I've got a real soft spot for it because it took me a long time to perfect the sauce and everyone that has it is always bowled over by it.