Chefs in the kitchen

Meet Dave Mothersill

Dave Mothersill is Head Chef at The Salt Room in Brighton.  Having worked in kitchens since he was 16, he was worked in some of Brighton’s best restaurants including The Coal Shed,  The Ginger Pig, Havana, Hotel du Vin and The Real Eating Company.

Which is your favourite food and/ or ingredient to cook with?

Absolutely anything that’s happens to be in season at the time; we are really lucky here in Sussex to be able to get our hands on some amazing seasonal produce.

As it is coming into late summer and autumn then I am enjoying working with game at the moment, I have just finished cooking a dish revolving around grouse for the Brighton & Hove Food and Drink Festival.

Service in the dining room

Did you cook when you were growing up, if so who inspired you?

I grew up in Yorkshire and used to love helping my mum cook stews and roasts, it was definitely memories of my mums cooking that made me want to be a chef!

roast lamb at the salt room in brighton

Before you became a chef, did you think that’s what you would be doing or something else?

I always knew I wanted to be a chef, there was never another option. I left school at 16 and got a job at a restaurant called The Drum and Monkey in Harrogate where I started washing dishes.

I worked my way up from there as I decided it was better to learn on the job and under the pressure of a working kitchen. I moved to Brighton in 2002 and became head chef at The Ginger Pig soon after.

Service in the dining room

Favourite kitchen gadget?

At the moment it has to be the Henkleman Vacuum Pack machine we have at The Coal Shed. It’s a heavy duty vacuum packer that means I can sous-vide steaks and other meat perfectly.

Sous-vide cooking is when you put cook meat within its airtight vacuum pack in a water bath, and cook it for a long period of time at a relatively low temperature.

It basically ensures that the meat is cooked optimally inside and out and keeps its moisture – I’ve even persuaded my new wife that we need a smaller one at home for perfectly pink roast lamb!

The josper oven

Funniest kitchen incident?

I won’t name which restaurant it was at, but we once had a Kitchen Porter who was instructed to wash that day’s batch of mussels before we cooked them.   He decided to run them through the dishwasher.   They were clean but needless to say were no longer fit for purpose…

Is there anything else you would like to tell us about?

I think that Brighton has an incredibly exciting restaurant scene, which has grown hugely in less than the space of a decade.

Salt Room_Seabass, Fish

There are now a good few genuinely great Brighton restaurants, which is starting to entice some really talented chefs who before would have perhaps headed to straight to London.

The residents of Brighton & Hove are becoming really savvy and educated about great food and are demanding London-quality cuisine in what is a relatively small city – it’s really great to be a part of.

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