Meet The Team - Calvin Hill | Head Chef

Posted: 22/02/2022 in Blog

Meet The Team - Calvin Hill | Head Chef | Restaurant St. Albans Centurion Club

Mild-mannered and modest our Head Chef, Calvin Hill, isn’t really one for self-promotion. He’s most at ease behind the scenes, in the kitchen, surrounded by his team of talented chefs, and would rather let his food do the talking! But with his new seasonal menu proving to be a big hit with our diners, we insisted on finding out a bit more about his cooking style, inspiration, passion and overall flair for fine food.

Here’s 5 minutes with Calvin Hill

Where has your career as a chef taken you?
I’ve been all over the world including a stint in Sydney and then in Zurich, but I found my calling at The Ritz Club and the Institute of Directors Gentleman’s club in London. I’ve been lucky to work with some incredibly talented chefs over the years, which has helped me to develop my own personal style of cooking.

What is your cooking style?
I don’t have just one style, but tend to lean towards modern, British where I can then add my own flourish or creative twist. My time in Sydney gave me loads of exposure to Asian inspired flavours, which you’ll find in many of my dishes.

Which suppliers do you work with?
I select most of my ingredients based on seasonality and quality, so I work with suppliers like Donald Russell who source their beef from Scotland. Our fish is from the south coast and local Bakery Dolce Forne supply us with freshly baked artisan breads.

— Beef Dish at Centurion Club

How would you sum up the menus in the restaurant?
All the menus – from Afternoon Tea and à la carte through to our Sunday Lunch and Private Dining menu - focus on seasonal, fresh ingredients and produce. There are some classic dishes on the menu, which I have made interesting and appealing by matching with unique, complementary flavours. Simply put, it’s wholesome, hearty, home-cooked food.

Which dishes are you loving right now?
It has to be the Duck dish, which is served with, pak choi and a mushroom satay – there are some lovely Asian flavours in this dish. The Jerusalem artichoke starter is a wholesome dish with earthy flavours and the venison and shallot tarte tatin is also a favourite among all of the chefs. For anyone with a sweet tooth, who loves a classic dessert, then the Sticky Toffee pudding is a must. I’m pretty sure this will be one of our most popular desserts.

What sort of experience can guests expect?
The restaurant is a really special place, so we make sure that everyone who dines with us feels special too. There is a relaxed vibe, it’s not at all stuffy and the team in the restaurant are friendly and welcoming. The setting is really stunning with views across the lake to the 18th Green; there’s a roaring fire in winter, so it’s cosy and inviting, and during the summer months the glass doors are swung open and there’s a beautiful terrace that acts as an extension of the restaurant where you can while away a whole afternoon quite easily. It’s the sort of place you could come for lunch and stay for dinner.

— Dining alfresco on the terrace at Centurion Club

Anything new on the horizon for spring?
We are already thinking about our spring menus and exploring seasonal ideas and flavours. A new Afternoon Tea menu will be launched to celebrate Easter time and there will certainly be a lamb dish on our à la carte and Sunday lunch menu. We’ll also be inviting guests to dine outside when the weather allows us, so expect some seasonal cocktails to feature too.

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