Chef James Martin is a top UK celebrity chef, and has been connected with Chewton Glen over many years, having worked at the UK’s leading hotel as a pastry chef twenty years ago, and is now set to open the James Martin Cooking School, Bakery, and Relaxed Dining on 1 December.
Building work on the £2,6 million Cooking School has commenced on the site of the old gatehouse on Chewton Glen, an AA five-red-star hotel with 70 bedrooms. It will consist of a dining area, a bakery, and a patisserie. The Cooking School has been designed to overlook a new kitchen garden, Chewton Glen already having a large vegetable and herb garden to supply the Hotel restaurant. Not just Chef James but a number of other leading UK chefs will offer courses at the Cooking School.
Chewton Glen Managing Director Andrew Stembridge says that the Cookery School will create new jobs, and will further benefit the 150 suppliers already working with Chewton Glen.
Chef James worked at Chewton Glen in the ‘Nineties, his love for cooking having developed by helping his mother in the kitchen. He studied catering in the UK and then in Saint-Émilion in France. His first job was at Maison Trosgros in Roanne in France, a three star Michelin restaurant, and from there he moved to One Ninety Queen’s Gate in London. Two Michelin two star restaurants followed: The Square and Harvey’s. He set up the Hotel du Vin in Winchester as its Head Chef.
Chef James is probably even better known for his television shows James Martin: Yorkshire’s Finest, Ready Steady Cook, and The Big Breakfast, and a vast number of other shows. For the past ten years he has presented Saturday Kitchen on BBC One. Numerous other food television shows have featured Chef James. Earlier this year he toured around the UK with a live show called ‘Plates, Mates, and Automobiles’. Chef James is nimble on his feet, having participated in Strictly Come Dancing! As if he did not have enough on his plate, he wrote a motoring column for The Mail on Sunday, and enjoys racing cars!
Chef James has opened restaurants The Leeds Kitchen (since closed), inside The Talbot Hotel, and James Martin Manchester. He has published seventeen cookbooks to date! His relationship with Chewton Glen is so close that he wrote the foreword of its 50th anniversary coffee table book ‘An English Original’, published earlier this year. As a tribute to his time at Chewton Glen, James Martin’s sticky toffee pudding
with toffee sauce features in the Chewton Glen coffee table book. He returns regularly to cook for special events at the hotel. He is an Honorary Professor at the University of West London London School of Hospitality and Tourism, with Chefs Michel Roux, Raymond Blanc, and Anton Mosimann.
Last week I enjoyed the Captain Marryat’s Afternoon Tea (£29,50) at Chewton Glen with a South African friend living in London, who came to visit me whilst I have been holidaying in the UK. The hotel offers sixteen loose leaf teas, including its own special blend, coffee and Valrhona hot chocolate. A nice touch is that one receives a tin of tea leaves to take home. My friend’s gluten-free sandwich request was accommodated with ease. A three-tier stand of treats included sandwiches (smoked salmon and dill butter, Flambards eggs and watercress, roast beef with horseradish sauce, and Somerset Brie with pear chutney); home-made plain and fruit scones served with West Country clotted cream and strawberry jam; and home-made chocolate and caramel tart, raspberry macaron, mango and passion fruit Délice, hazelnut financier, and green tea and apricot cupcakes. Afternoon Tea with a glass of Taittinger costs £39,50.
Exchange rate: £1 = R17,92
Disclosure: My son is the Restaurant Manager of Chewton Glen.
Chewton Glen, Christchurch Road, New Milton. Tel +44 1425 275341 www.chewtonglen.com Twitter: @ChewtonGlen Instagram: @chewtonglen
Chris von Ulmenstein, WhaleTales Blog: www.whalecottage.com/blog Tel 082 55 11 323 Twitter:@WhaleCottage Facebook: click here Instagram: @Chris_Ulmenstein