In the Kitchen with... Leah Walker

The Head Chef at The Old Pottery Restaurant, at the House of Marbles in Bovey Tracey, talks seasonality and local produce

What is your inspiration?
My inspiration comes from working with good quality ingredients produced here in Devon. I try to use as local as possible and I work with a great team whose input is invaluable.

Must-try product on your menu?
I would definitely recommend one of our daily specials, where we showcase new and innovative dishes using local, seasonal ingredients. For example, try the grilled fillets of Brixham mackerel on roasted beets, with sautéed potatoes and horseradish crème fraîche.

Sum up your cooking style in three words?
Fresh, seasonal, innovative.

Best local produce to eat now?
Definitely pumpkin. They are so versatile to use, from a staple spiced pumpkin soup to a roasted chestnut, sage and pumpkin risotto, or even a roasted pumpkin quinoa salad with pomegranate and roasted hazelnuts in a sweet chilli dressing. Not just for carving!

Do you prefer to eat in or out?
My passion outside work is my allotment. I enjoy using the produce I grow to cook at home for the family. Straight from plot-to-plate – you can’t get any fresher.

Top tip for budding chefs?
The right work ethic and attitude is everything. Learn the basics and don’t ever think you are above learning.

Favourite food gadget?
A quality set of knives and a good sharpening tool.

What is the most unusual thing you have cooked or eaten?
I tried scorpions once when visiting a food market in China.

What influences your product choices?
Sustainability and food miles, as I believe in using local, seasonal produce. It is great to have such high-quality produce and suppliers in our community.

The Old Pottery Restaurant
House of Marbles
Pottery Road Bovey Tracey
Devon TQ13 9DS
01626 831320
www.houseofmarbles.com/about/family-fun-devon/old-pottery-restaurant/8/

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