Multi award-winning East Lodge hotel and restaurant head chef Simon Bradley is gradually becoming a recognised media celebrity and has been taking to the streets recently, showcasing his skills and spreading the East Lodge local produce ‘word’ at regional and national events; Simon’s most recent appearance has seen him taking part in November’s episode of Street Market Chefs, filmed in Bakewell for Channel Five.
Hosted by Amanda Lamb, Street Market Chefs is a brand new type of food show, celebrating fresh, seasonal produce, making it the perfect medium for both East Lodge and Simon, who are equally passionate about the importance of using only locally sourced ingredients and suppliers. Amanda gave Simon the challenge of cooking with a mystery ingredient – buffalo! A meat neither Simon nor most other chefs have cooked with, prior to the show.
Coming from a different market town each week, the programme sees acclaimed local chefs cook the best two course meal they can from ingredients bought from the market that day. Simon cooked Derbyshire Wood Pigeon and pressed ox tongue club sandwich, and duo of buffalo with aubergine and confit tomatoes.
“It was a great experience to take part in Street Market Chefs” said Simon. “At East Lodge we are all committed to using the freshest local produce so I was delighted to take part in a programme that celebrates local ingredients. Buffalo was an extremely interesting choice, as I hadn’t used it before; however, perhaps incredibly, it is local, having been reared in Chesterfield. I looked to complement this with the Wood Pigeon first course and the two worked really well together. You never know, we may soon have buffalo on the East Lodge menu!”
Head chef at East Lodge for several years now, Simon’s culinary CV has an international flavour that makes impressive reading. The Ritz in Paris became his training ground in classic French cuisine and a successful eight year stint at Odette’s in Primrose Hill, London followed cooking at the two Michelin Star Le Manoir - honing his skills under the globally renowned Raymond Blanc. Simon has worked alongside the most celebrated chefs and biggest names in cooking, including BBC Great British Menu critic Oliver Peyton, but Raymond Blanc remains an enduring inspiration:
“I learnt a huge amount from Raymond, constantly tasting and seasoning, which is crucial to understanding how perfection in taste and texture can be achieved,” said Simon. “Raymond has a great vision and passion for what he does and deserves the respect he commands from all those who have worked under him. Street Market Chefs provided the opportunity of passing on some of what I have learned to a wider audience and I am looking forward to doing a lot more of it.”
At East Lodge, Simon champions excellence in fine Derbyshire cuisine on a daily basis. With the coveted 2 AA “inspectors choice” accolade, winner of Derbyshire Restaurant of the Year in 2007/2008 and short listed for the award again for 2009, with Simon’s help, a visit to East Lodge has become a must for anyone wishing to sample some of the finest dining the region has to offer.
Where possible, only home grown and sourced produce is selected, both to support local suppliers and ensure that only the finest ingredients are used in each dish. East Lodge has its own flock of hens for providing fresh eggs and its own vegetable garden, allowing Simon to select many ingredients literally a stone’s throw from the kitchen, while meat is sourced from farms close to the East Lodge estate.
“Simon is a fantastic cook and while he has been busy passing on his knowledge at several local events this year, Street Market Chefs gave him a new audience for his talents,” said East Lodge director Iain Hardman. “Simon is so far one of our best kept secrets and is as passionate about local food as we are. Together, we have a winning combination and the only way to see what you’re missing is to visit the restaurant.”
For enquiries and for booking your own meal created by Simon Bradley and his team call East Lodge on 01629 734474.