Ross has been at the Mount Haven since April 2016, and manages our kitchen, our menus and his handpicked team of chefs to create fresh, elegant and seasonal food. Ross has a great love for wild food, nutritional food and quirky vegetarian dishes.
When did you realise you could cook?
Well, my father was a chef and I used to work in his kitchens washing up and helping with prep. I was also known to skive school just so I could create things like blue cakes with my friends, so you could say it all started very young! I’ve always loved it.
What’s your preferred cuisine to cook?
I’ve worked with almost every type – from Asian to Caribbean – but I love creating British and European food, with Japanese techniques thrown in.
What is your favourite season and why?
For me it’s got to be spring as it’s the best season for foraging: just take a walk in the woods and you’ll know what I’m talking about. There’s so many flowers and wild garlic. You’ve also got the seaweeds coming up in the rock pools.
What do you cook at home at the weekends?
Ha! What weekends? I don’t really get those off although I try to go out when I can. I do like going around to my friends’ places and getting their smoker out, and I love eating devilled kidneys or liver and bacon for brekkie. And you can’t beat a good crab sandwich for lunch! In the evening, I mainly eat veggie food.
What advice have you been given about cooking that has always stayed with you?
Try to keep it simple and clean.
What do you look for in your chefs?
The number one thing is passion. I’d rather have a chef without much experience but with masses of passion than a chef with loads of experience and no passion.
What do you like doing outside of work?
Hanging out with my daughter, eating out, foraging and listening to music. My four passions are definitely my daughter, my food, and house and techno!
Finally, what would you like to achieve in the next 12 months at the Mount Haven?
I’d like to create one-off event tasting menus, allowing our guests to experience the food at the Mount Haven on a whole new level [Do keep an eye on our social media channels for announcements of these – we’re sure they will be popular]. I am also really excited about evolving my style of cooking, and helping to build the reputation of the Mount Haven as a hotel with a restaurant serving inventive quality food, inspired by the bounty of the local land and sea.
Ross has extensive industry experience, beginning his training in Stratford-upon-Avon and London 19 years ago. His first head chef job was at the Halzephron Inn in Cornwall at just 21 years old, where he won dining pub of the year twice. He has since worked for six years with the acclaimed Jude Kereama at the regionally renowned Kota Restaurant in Porthleven, finishing as Head Chef.