Executive Head Chef, Jack Woolner of The Greene Oak, near Windsor on recipes for success

PUBLISHED: 11:48 06 January 2011 | UPDATED: 17:31 20 February 2013

Executive Head Chef, Jack Woolner of The Greene Oak, near Windsor on recipes for success

Executive Head Chef, Jack Woolner of The Greene Oak, near Windsor on recipes for success

Jack Woolner is Executive Head Chef at the well-regarded sister restaurants: The Greene Oak, near Windsor, and The White Oak at Cookham...

Jack Woolner is Executive Head Chef at the well-regarded sister restaurants: The Greene Oak, near Windsor, and The White Oak at Cookham...

What is your favourite ingredient?
English asparagus and strawberries. You simply cant beat them for flavour.

Whats your most memorable meal? There are two. Lobster with a veal jus and ginger at The Waterside Inn at Bray. It was simply stunning. And chateaubriand with barnaise sauce and purple-sprouting broccoli at the The Pheasant, Keyston, Huntingdon (where I trained). Both simple dishes but excellent execution. Its about the ingredients and cooking.

Name your favourite cheese
Barkham Blue from the Two Hoots Cheese company. It has a very distinctive appearance its covered in a natural mould-ripened rustic rind and is a deep yellow colour, moist with dark bluey-green veins. Sounds disgusting, but it has lovely rich, creamy blue taste and just melts in the mouth.

Describe your signature dish I guess I am getting known for my assiettes. If I had to pick my best it would be my beef assiette which comprises twice-cooked blade of beef, oxtail pasty, breaded ox tongue, gruyere-coated cottage pie, beef fillet, beef liver and sticky belly of beef all individually garnished.

If you hadnt been a chef, what would you have done? Landscape gardening. I started to do this at college then got side-tracked into being a chef, but I do get a lot of pleasure from planning and creating gardens. Ive done it for a few friends and maybe one day Ill take it up againmaybe I can talk the owner, Henry, into a herb garden!

Describe a favourite food combination Crab and chilli. Add a touch of chilli to a crab dish for example a crab risotto or a cold crab tian as it just makes the flavours come alive.

Give us a top kitchen or cooking tip Buy ingredients from small, artisan producers as they specialise in their products. Visit your suppliers as well, understand them and get them to understand you. For anyone running a professional kitchen my tip is to concentrate on getting the right staff. My executive sous chef Richard Stearn (pictured left) and I have worked together for seven years. We complement each other perfectly and trust each other completely.

Name the cooking hero who inspired you My chef hero would be Michel Roux who hasnt tried to be over-the-top chemisty-teacher-clever with his food and who just creates wonderfully flavoursome dishes that are beautifully cooked, presented and timeless.

The Greene Oak, Oakley Green, Windsor, SL 4 5UW.
Tel: 01753 864294. The White Oak, The Pound, Cookham, SL6 9QE. Tel: 01628 523043.


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