“Above all, question everything – which will help you develop your own style and authenticity with cooking.” The Wordrobe meets Pete Gray, Head Chef of the Michelin-starred Hind’s Head in Bray.
What inspired you to become a chef?
I don’t ever remember dreaming about becoming a chef, it just happened! I started work as kitchen porter and things stemmed from there; I loved the exciting atmosphere in the Kitchen, the attention to detail and the amount of effort it took to get it right.
I then got the bug and started learning from chefs that I worked with. Social media wasn’t around then it was all about reading cook books and hearing stories from other young chefs of where they had worked. Before taking the KP job, I did think about joining the marines.
What’s your favourite part of your job?
I feel privileged to have been given the opportunity to become head chef here at the Hinds, each day holds a different challenge and we work hard as a team and driving each other every day to become better. Seeing my brigade grow and progress, and to be a part of that, is amazing.
What can guests expect from the menu at Hinds Head?
Traditional seasonal dishes, British Classics with a Heston twist.
What advice would you offer to aspiring chefs?
Read cookbooks. A lot of them! Although it’s easily done, don’t just rely on Instagram, go out and discover restaurants. Developing your knowledge and skill set is all down to yourself, your ambition and self-discipline, you have to absorb as much as possible.
Respect the industry and those who have made it what it is and above all question everything, which will help you develop your own style and authenticity with cooking.
Name three of your favourite restaurants
The Coach, St Johns and Le Manoir.
What does hospitality mean to you?
For me it’s about offering a great product, the whole package; comfortable surroundings, interesting drinks, great service and of course tasty food.
Do you have a favourite spring ingredient?
I love Jersey royals finished in butter emulsion mint and dill seasoned with Maldon sea salt and cracked black pepper
What’s next on the cards?
I’m only six months in to my new position so I have lots of things to learn, and want to concentrate on the team and get the best out of them, with lots of things planned throughout the year it’s going to be a busy one.
Try Pete’s dishes for yourself at the The Hind’s Head
High St, Bray SL6 2AB