Chef Profile: Phil Bartley, Hove Place
Meet head chef Phil Bartley who is heading up the stylish Hove Place Bistro Pub and Gardens.
With the best pub garden in the area, this popular venue is located just off Church Road in Hove (near Palmeria Square).
Having undergone a stylish refurbishment in March 2012, Hove Place Bistro Pub & Gardens provides a relaxed atmosphere and has a strong emphasis on great service.
Which is your favourite restaurant in Brighton and why?
Like most people I would have to say the original Gingerman restaurant at Norfolk Square, the cooking is always good and I love the homeliness of the restaurant.
The thing I love about Brighton is the massive choice when it comes to dining out, we could eat at a different place every night of the year and still not have tried everywhere.
We are currently undergoing a bit of a revolution when it comes to food in Brighton, the quality is definitely on the up and I think restaurants and even pubs are starting to realise that people want fresh, local and interesting food, so maybe by this time next year there will be a few more serious contenders.
Which is your favourite food to cook with?
I always try to decide which is my favourite time of year as a chef and it’s always the game season that swings it for me.
We’re lucky get most of our meat directly from Standean farm in Ditchling and they’re great at sourcing local game, as we speak I’m waiting on a delivery of venison from piddinghoe, which I’m extremely excited about as it’s our first of the year.
Coming a close second would have to be mushrooms, there’s a great choice at this time of year and each variety has its own unique characteristics.
Mushrooms are so versatile, they can add great depth to stocks and sauces, savoury flavours to contrast with sweet shellfish and my personal favourite, ceps flash fried in butter and garlic with toast and a tiny bit of truffle.
All that being said if you asked me the same question in spring I’d be waffling on about fresh peas, asparagus and lamb, so it’s a very difficult question for a chef to answer.
Favourite kitchen gadget?
I would have to say its currently our ice cream machine. In the kitchen at Hove Place we’re obsessed with ice creams and sorbets, any chance we get we will try a new flavour.
We’ve recently been experimenting with tonka beans, they are a spice which have the most interesting flavour, I’d say a cross between vanilla, cinnamon and clove, they make an amazing ice cream.
We are just about to purchase a sous vide machine which will undoubtedly be my new favourite bit of kit (toy!) and is basically a very precisely controlled water bath that can be used for cooking meats, fish and just about anything to the perfect temperature without loss of flavour or nutrients, basically a modern boil in the bag technique.
In the kitchen our challenge is to create a menu using local, seasonal produce for this price, that’s where the sous vide machine will come into play, our first menu will include braised beef cheeks, celeriac and wild horseradish.
For more details about Hove Place Bistro Pub and Gardens refer to their website here.