The Wordrobe chats staying true to ingredients and team work with Darren Clemmit, Head Chef of The White Swan Inn, Yorkshire
What inspired you to become a chef?
I was hooked from the age of 14 when I was a kitchen porter – it was so interesting watching and being involved in all those wonderful things being created, sometimes from lots of ingredients and often from very few.
It also helped that the head chef at the time had a Capri 2.8 injection – shows my age. I have spent 30 years in the same kitchen and am still learning.
What’s your favourite part of your job?
I’d have to say the energy, the teamwork and the creativity. I really love seeing the outcome of all the hard work.
What can guests expect from the menu at The White Swan?
We are all about provenance so I would say quality, no nonsense food.
Describe your cooking style in three words
True to ingredients.
What advice would you offer to aspiring chefs?
Work hard but don’t get consumed. Being a chef is a lifestyle choice, hours can be long, antisocial and the hard work can be relentless – it’s important to remain passionate and not get burned out.
Maintain a wok/life balance. Take any criticism constructively. Focus the food you are passionate about, keep learning staying true to yourself.
Name us three of your favourite restaurants
Social Eating House, London. St John Restaurant, London and Hawksmoor.
What does hospitality mean to you?
Hospitality is providing a place where guests enjoy themselves surrounded by great food, wine and service – the whole experience. Treating guests in a warm and friendly way making sure that they leave feeling special.
Do you have a favourite spring ingredient?
Sand Hutton Asparagus. It’s on our menu every year.
What’s next on the cards?
For the White Swan, small plates and British tapas.
Try Darren’s dishes for yourself
The White Swan Inn, Market Pl, Pickering YO18 7AA