David Jaram, Fishmore Hall

PUBLISHED: 16:45 30 July 2009 | UPDATED: 16:09 20 February 2013

David Jaram, Fishmore Hall

David Jaram, Fishmore Hall

David Jaram was part of the launch team when Fishmore Hall launched in September 2006. Working with then executive head chef Marc Hardiman, the team earned two AA rosettes within 10 days of opening.

David Jaram was part of the launch team when Fishmore Hall launched in September 2006. Working with then executive head chef Marc Hardiman, the team earned two AA rosettes within 10 days of opening.

Though only 27, David has achieved a great deal in his short career. His experience includes The Haycock at Wansford; Nunsmere Hall in Cheshire and The Greenway in Cheltenham. He was the obvious choice to promote when Marc Hardiman moved on from Fishmore Hall.

Hotel director Laura Penman says: "David leads his team by example, putting in long hours and hard work. He is aware that their enthusiasm will permeate through to the quality of the food they produce, and he keeps them motivated by organising trips to suppliers so they can understand where their ingredients are coming from.

"David has actively encouraged local college students to do work experience in the Fishmore Hall kitchen and gives over his afternoons to working with the local school cookery club."

The Chef Bites Back

What is your earliest memory of food?

Making a pizza at home with my mum when I was about four years old which ended up with a trip to the hospital - I cut the end of my finger off while slicing a tomato while her back was turned.

Who influenced your decision to become a chef?

My friend at school actually wanted to be a chef and as I had no fixed plans myself I thought it sounded like a good idea - don't think he still does it but I haven't looked back.

What is your favourite ingredient?

Chocolate. I have a bit of an addiction to using it (not just eating it) - It's very versatile

Where is your favourite restaurant?

There are quite a few. I recently ate at Le Champignon Sauvage in Cheltenham and Purnell's in Birmigham. I try and take my sous chef out as often as we can to give him a bit more inspiration. I want to go to L'enclume in Cartmel in the Lake District shortly but fitting in the travelling time is always tricky.

Which celebrity chef do you admire?

Heston Blumenthal. It's not the style in which I cook but he pushes the boundaries and makes the public demand more generally

Which nationality cooks the best food?

English of course - great ingredients on the doorstep and things have really moved on here; we are able to match any country these days.

What's in your fridge at home?

Nothing. I don't tend to spend much time there. When I am away from the hotel I like to eat out as much as possible - pub meals to fine dining. It's all experience and all have their own qualities and ideas can be found anywhere - it's also an enjoyable way to spend your time off.

What is your signature dish?

I don't have a signature dish as such. I don't think that anyone comes to the restaurant with a preconceived idea of what they will eat that night. There are aspects of dishes that I can really like and use again with something else but I am still very much enjoying experimenting and have implemented a daily menu that I can really play around with.

Do you have a tip for a novice cook?

Keep your head down and learn for a bit and don't rush into the next step until you are really ready for it - hard work pays off. Bear in mind that there are a lot of chefs in this country and only a few are really household names and you can't go into catering assuming it is your right to become one. You need to enjoy cooking, there is rarely any glamour.

What is your family's favourite meal?

Shepherd's pie/lasagne. Mum's good at one, Dad is good at the other.

Have you ever been injured in the kitchen?

Minor knocks, burns and scrapes but I learned my lesson at age four - I don't like hospitals.

Have you cooked for anyone famous?

Raymond Blanc, Jackie Stewart, Princess Anne, Rocco Forte, Marco Pierre White, Cherie Blair.

What would you choose for your last meal on earth?

Cured meats, cheese, glass of red wine - lots of friends and family.

Fishmore events

July 30: Local Producers Dinner. Five Courses, five wines, £55. Local producers will discuss their techniques and passions briefly and David will serve a course using their ingredients.

August 1-15: Early dinning offer during the Ludlow Exhibition of Contemporary Art. 5.30 to 6.45pm 2 course £20, 3 courses £25.

August 13: Dine with Michael Sandle RA and Stephen Cox, a chance to meet the two sculptors and discuss their work

Fishmore Hall, Ludlow. Tel: 01584 875148. www.fishmorehall.co.uk

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