Meet The Chef – Ian Wilson of Wolfscastle Country Hotel
For this months ‘meet the chef’ we speak to Ian Wilson, Head Chef at Wolfscastle Country Hotel in the heart of Pembrokeshire.
How long have you been cooking professionally?
I’ve been cooking for 16 years now.
Where did you train to cook?
I worked across a number of restaurants and bistro’s in Tenby, a seaside town in Pembrokeshire. It’s a busy place and especially popular with tourists so there’s a variety of places to eat and drink!
Do you have a signature dish or a favourite dish you enjoy cooking?
At the moment my signature dish is a seasonal dish with venison and game. A mini venison fillet, haunch croquette, game suet stack and celeriac – rich and warming, perfect for this time of year.
Run us through your average day as chef at The Wolfscastle Country hotel:
An early start ensures that I can get my team up to scratch on the day ahead. I prep for events and services we have on the day, delegate tasks for my team to complete for the week ahead, making sure that everything is covered ensuring a smooth and easy service.
Do you run any special events, if so, what? We run a number of events throughout the year including the main holidays: New Year’s Eve, Christmas, Mother’s day, Father’s day and Easter. Along with these, we also hold special Ladies Day events, Gourmet Nights and, inspired by Andy Stirling’s time in France, exclusive Beaujolais nights to celebrate Beaujolais Nouveau Day
What has been your most interesting/fun experience from your time working as a chef?
Working abroad as a chalet chef in France and Switzerland was a brilliant experience, a completely different environment and surrounded by beautiful scenery – it made the long days worthwhile. I have a passion for working with new ingredients and have a firm belief in maintaining a good work/life balance.
Is there another chef you most admire?
Fellow Tenby Chef Simon Crockford of The Celtic Manor Resort, his passion for food is incredible.
What would your ‘last request’ dish be?
Fugu Sashimi (Puffer Fish) – nothing to lose!
Finally, any advice for any young chefs out there?
Think wisely before becoming a chef, it isn’t easy!