Chef’s Table talk with Chef Michael Caines MBE
Chef Michael Caines grew up near Exeter where his parents, who were school teachers recognised his early interest in food and cooking and set him on his way to a culinary career. Following two years of catering college, an Exeter chef sent him to the Grosvenor House Hotel in London. He was then recommended to Raymond Blanc in Oxfordshire, for whom he had to do a three-day trial without pay. Three years later, Blanc arranged for him to cook at the Michelin three-star Cote d’Or in Burgundy. He cooked there for 15 months before moving to another three-star establishment, Restaurant Jamin, in Paris.
Michael’s career to date has been well documented, through to becoming Head Chef at Gidleigh Park Hotel in Devon.
Early In 2017, Michael opened Lympstone Manor, a luxury boutique hotel and restaurant set in Parkland overlooking the river Exe near Exmouth, Devon. He describes Lympstone as “the realisation of a dream, my vision of country house hospitality for the 21st Century”. This has been a very personal project for him and one that has seen him involved in every detail. From the first vines being planted to establish a vineyard in the estate to produce, in three years time, a house champagne-method sparkling wine.
We asked Michael about his continued involvement in catering for the Williams Formula 1 team.
Q: You have spent a couple of seasons working with the Williams F1 team, in particular in Monaco… how much fun was that and what was Monaco in 2017 like?
A: Being anywhere with Williams F1 is amazing but Monaco is the best. This year I was able to cook on a yacht for Williams and go to their VIP party, along with attending events on the Financial Times yacht. I was also invited to Martini’s VIP party which was a brilliant evening. We have also just held a charity event with Williams here at the manor.
Q: Which restaurant would you like to go to? (that you have not had opportunity to visit)
Q: Japanese cuisine sometimes includes ingredients we may not be familiar with, Is there a food you would not eat?
A: Bugs, or anything very obscure like a form of testicles or spiders.
Q: What would be your last dish (to eat) “the death row question”
A: I would make this the longest meal ever, most probably a tasting menu which included a seafood platter to start followed by roast chicken with a combination of summer fruits and sorbet to finish.
Q: If you could change any misconceptions about restaurants/food, what would they be?
A: I view food like it is an elite sport, great food, and food wealth is what it’s about. Not about the expense but how well it is cooked and how good it is. There is plenty of places that have great food and are cheaper. It’s to do with the combination of flavours and spices.
Q: What is your favourite dish at Lympstone Manor in which you use produce from your most local supplier?
A: There is a number at present, however Jacobs Lamb, boulangerie & confit shoulder, pea puree and tapenade jus, the lamb is from Powderham Castle, which we can see from our terrace.
Q: If you could invite any Chef past or present to cook alongside you for one night who would that be and why?
A: Keith Floyd because he is a legend.
Favourite Tables were delighted to include Lympstone Manor on our Unique Destinations pages and wondered what you would consider as your own favourite tables….
Firstly Zuma in London because of its fusion of Japanese cooking and Asian styled foods, and then The Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, Raymond Blanc – it is my favourite country house hotel, the food and experience is exceptional.
|Reviewer:||Michael Caines MBE|
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