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Hillside Nursery, Toftwood, Dereham, Norfolk, NR19 1NP

Member of the Month November 2018: The Dial House

Here at Nurtured in Norfolk, we believe that our customers are what make Nurtured in Norfolk what we are today and we would like to thank you all by showcasing & celebrating your culinary talents – this month’s winner is The Dial House, a member who regularly contributes to our project ‘The Nurtured way – showcasing culinary talents and bringing you everything within the chef’s world’. He will also receive a Nurtured in Norfolk goodie bag, full of fresh and flavourful produce.

We spoke to Chef Andrew Jones to find out more about him…

Andrew Jones is the executive chef and owner of The Dial House Reepham and Farmyard in Norwich. He grew up in Reepham and went to school in Norwich, after school he went to university before finding vocation as a chef. Andrew moved back to Norfolk with wife Hannah in 2015 after 12 years of working in high-end London restaurants where he learnt a trade working for some of the industries most demanding chefs including Richard Corrigan and Claude Boss. Then they opened Farmyard in Jan 2017 and bought The Dial House in May 2018.

Current place of work, position & brief overview about yourself.

 

Why did you become a chef?

I was doing an economics degree at Nottingham University and didn’t look forward to waking up every day for the rest of my life to go to a job that didn’t excite me. I graduated, moved to London hungry for skills and knowledge and pushed myself.

 

What is your cooking style & what can people expect from the food on your menu?

I describe my cooking as produce led. I work closely with our carefully selected suppliers and write menus based around what is in the peak of its season, aiming to showcase the quality of the ingredient rather than show off as a chef. We focus on simple presentation and  putting the work into Mis-en-place rather than service so that even when we are flat out in the kitchen standards remain high.

 

What is your favourite cuisine & dish to cook?

I’m classically trained so I have a love of proper techniques. I love braising because it takes real skill to transform a tough and inedible cut into something magnificent. French cuisine is all about that transformative process of applying solid technique to produce and creating magic. I find Beef Bourgignon as satisfying to make as to eat.

 

What is your greatest accomplishment?

Meeting my wife Hannah. Without her I wouldn’t be anywhere.

 

What do you do to stay current on new trends? Describe 2 or 3 of the most important industry trends.

I don’t like trends because our guests don’t want trends, they want good food and service. Trends mean you go to a pub and get a plate full of foam when what you went in for is dinner. If more chefs focused on developing their technique rather than following trends there would be more good restaurants at every level. I tell my chefs to work on filleting a fish perfectly or baking the perfect loaf of bread and leave trends to the other guys.

 

What do you like about Nurtured in Norfolk’s new launch ‘The Nurtured Way’?

Nurtured In Norfolk’s products really fit with the way I cook. I don’t do garnish – I do flavour. For me, it’s not about chucking a load of micro-herbs on a plate to make it look nice but adding flavour and contrast to the dish. I’m always using Nurtured in Norfolk herbs in sweet dishes too; the huge range of Nurtured in Norfolk’s produce means there is always a flavour to highlight and accent a dessert. I think this stems from the fact that Allan and Sue were Chefs themselves and understand what Chefs want. Visiting the farm you get to see their passion for what they do which really shows in the final product.

 

Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time & are there any plans for the future?

I can’t see in to the future, but I believe that if you aren’t moving forwards you start slipping backwards. Long term we want to grow the group but only when the time and circumstances are right.

As a chef I want to be more involved in the supply chain. The most important part of what we do as chefs is sourcing good quality produce, if you can guarantee the quality of what you purchase before it comes in to the kitchen then all you’ve got to do is not muck it up!

In 5 years’ time I’d like to be involved in producing the stuff we use in the restaurants.

 

Andrew Jones (Instagram: @thedialhouse)

Do you want to be the next member of the month? Start sharing your images, videos & recipes with @thenurturedway to be in with a chance of winning of a goodie bag of Nurtured in Norfolk produce!

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