Christopher Prow at The Cross Keys Inn
PUBLISHED: 15:17 08 February 2008 | UPDATED: 15:01 20 February 2013
'KISS' is the tried and tested motto of Christopher Prow at The Cross Keys Inn, Pangbourne, where you'll find plenty of local produce on the menu...
Which dish on your current menu do you most enjoy preparing and why?
Roast red-legged partridge, bubble and squeak ratte potatoes, pear purée and game jus; it's such a simple dish to cook, but tastes sublime.
How would you describe your menu?
Describe your menu in four words:
Local, innovative, seasonal and uncomplicated.
Which chef do you most admire?
Michel Roux Snr. His approach to food is second to none. I admire the impeccably high standards he has set and what he has done for the British hospitality trade over the last 40 years.
How would you describe your approach to food?
KISS - Keep It Seasonal, Simple.
In what way does your food reflect your personality?
I strive for excellence in everything I do.
What are your predictions for the next food trend?
Bring back the old school classical dishes.
What local product do you value most?
Our Berkshire Black pigs. We use a local farmer up the road. We literally use the whole pig: The head for brawn, shoulders for sausages, legs for roasting, skin for crackling, and belly for the à la carte menu.
How often do you change the menu?
Seasonally almost every three months, because the produce is in abundance and less expensive to buy.
Do you cook off-menu and what do you tend to be asked to cook?
If there is something that is not on the menu (which is hard to believe) then I try giving the customer whatever they would like - within reason.
What is your earliest memory of a taste or a meal?
Buck Rarebit, when I was in the V&A waterfront, Cape Town, when I was about 11.
Which taste do you prefer: sweet, sour, bitter or hot?
And name an ingredient or dish which best sums up your choice: Sweet - I have a weakness for chocolate and ice cream; sour - lemon, lime, lavender and rosemary sorbet; bitter - Seville oranges; hot - Tom Yum Gong Soup from Thailand.
What is your favourite kitchen utensil?
My kitchen brigade
What's your most memorable meal?
The Waterside Inn Bray on my 28th birthday, I had the 'Menu Exceptionnel'.
Which is your favourite cuisine?
French - foie gras, coquilles St Jacques, ris de veau braisé, to name a few.
Marmite: love it or hate it?
Depends on my mood.
Name your favourite cheese: Brie de meaux , Barkham blue (local from Wokingham).
Describe your signature dish:
Poached native lobster, with summer vegetables garden herbs, vanilla beurre blanc.
How do you relax?
When time allows I love to go fly fishing - it takes your mind off of everything else.
What do you choose to drink?
Chateauneuf du Pape. I have a thing for Grappa late at night with an espresso.
What do you think of the cult of the celebrity chef?
Name a favourite Berkshire producer or supplier.
Vicars Game in Yattendon, Greys Cheese Company in Pangbourne.
What advice would you give to anyone interested in a career in cooking?
Do not let 'celebrity chefs' on telly cloud your judgement. It isn't as glamorous as they lead you to believe. If you put in a lot of hard work, you will reap the rewards.