Chef’s Table with The Tudor Room’s Douglas Balish

PUBLISHED: 06:34 23 May 2017

Douglas Balish is hitting the heights at Great Fosters

Douglas Balish is hitting the heights at Great Fosters

Archant

In the first of a new series where we’ll discover what inspires Surrey’s top chefs, we meet Douglas Balish, head chef at the Michelin starred The Tudor Room restaurant at Great Fosters, in Egham

Dougie's Langoustine dish (Photo: Giles Christopher/Media Wisdom)Dougie's Langoustine dish (Photo: Giles Christopher/Media Wisdom)

Originally published in Surrey Life magazine May 2017

***

What first inspired you to become a chef?

I always had an obsession with food from a very early age but it never crossed my mind to become a chef. I had planned to go to university and study psychology but after a summer job in a local pub I couldn’t see myself doing anything other than working in a kitchen.

Tell us about your proudest achievements so far…

Being awarded a Michelin star is obviously something I would never have dreamt of back when I was 19 and microwaving frozen chocolate cakes in the pub kitchen! On a smaller but no less significant scale, I cooked for my grandparents when I was still living in Scotland. My grandfather was so overwhelmed that he cried.

What’s your ethos at The Tudor Room?

We try to make every day better than the previous one. We use seasonal produce and source the best ingredients which speak for themselves. It’s certainly not about chasing awards, although if they come along then it’s a bonus.

Do you have a signature dish?

Currently it’s langoustine tea, which is a consommé of langoustine infused with Thai aromas served over langoustines that arrive live from Scotland. There are three or four other dishes, which we would happily return to the menu depending on the time of year.

How do you source your ingredients?

We grow a lot of our own produce in the spring/summer and have been experimenting with hot beds to take us into autumn. I am always on the lookout for new suppliers with amazing produce and recently found someone to grow asparagus for us.

Do you still enjoy cooking at home?

I love cooking at home, although I rarely have time to. Sometimes it’s great to cook food that you want but wouldn’t be serving in a fine dining restaurant – a good roast chicken or stir fry perhaps.

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

I think it would have to be Surrey venison wellington served with a red wine sauce made from Denbies’ Pinot Noir.

***

The Tudor Room at Great Fosters,Stroude Road, Egham, Surrey TW20 9UR. Tel: 01784 433822. Web: greatfosters.co.uk

Read our recent review of the Michelin starred The Tudor Room here

Vote for your favourite local chefs in the Surrey Life Food & Drink Awards

***

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

More from Surrey Life

16:16

At Sir William Perkins’s School (SWPS) the aim is to build confidence, integrity and excellence in a caring, innovative and happy community so that each student leaves with the best possible chance of achieving her full potential and ready to take on the world.

Read more
11:43

If the colder weather is making you feel like escaping to somewhere snug and cosy, you might be surprised to find some perfect rural retreats right on your doorstep. Here’s our pick of the best to discover in Surrey…

Read more
11:33

Get ready to laugh, boo and hiss, and cheer on your favourite childhood heroes in the array of pantomimes coming to Surrey theatres this Christmas

Read more
11:01

Whether you're looking for fine dining, pub grub or exotic dishes, eating out in Surrey has something for everyone. Here's our guide to the best local restaurants and pubs

Read more
Yesterday, 16:01

Actress, singer and entertainer, Anita Harris has travelled the world in an illustrious career that spans over five decades. From her home in Chertsey, she talks to Tinx Newton about the people she has worked with, her tour and life in Surrey

Read more
Yesterday, 14:13

If there's ever a time of year when a brisk, bracing walk is needed, then winter and the lead-up to the festive season is surely it. Here we round up a few of our Surrey favourites

Read more
Yesterday, 13:01

Great things to do in Surrey this weekend (14, 15 and 16 December): art exhibitions, walks, concerts, theatre, places to visit and other events and ideas.

Read more
Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Surrey is a county full of festive delights. Think cosy pubs, frosty views and long winter walks. We pick 22 wonderful reasons to spend Christmas in Surrey.

Read more
Tuesday, December 4, 2018

We round up some of the best events and things to do across Surrey this month

Read more
Tuesday, December 4, 2018

With beautiful countryside, stunning villages and plenty of bluebells during spring, Surrey is an amazing place for a stroll

Read more
Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Pupils at The Hawthorns School in Bletchingley collected over 5,800 items of food for the Loveworks foodbanks in Reigate and Merstham

Read more
Friday, November 30, 2018

We’ve teamed up with Grand Illusions to give one lucky reader the opportunity to win a £250 gift card with the stylish homeware brand

Read more
Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Celebrating its 25 anniversary, Kinghams restaurant is found at the heart of one of Surrey’s most iconic villages. Matthew Williams visits to discover the secrets of its longevity

Read more
Monday, November 26, 2018

This edition of Surrey Life features all the local ingredients to make this month special

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Topics of Interest


Follow us on Twitter


Like us on Facebook

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad

Local Business Directory

Property Search