We are delighted to welcome Rob Perez to Weston as our Senior Sous Chef. We grabbed a coffee with Rob and asked him what inspires him and the plans he has for the Granary.
Rob has always worked in hospitality and started his career with front of house work and catering for the British Airways crew on a Sunday in the staff canteen. This was in parallel with his studies at Hospitality and Catering College in London.
He then moved into hotel kitchens in central London including roles at the Kingsway Hotel in Holborn, the Pelham Hotel in South Kensington and as a sous chef at the Gherkin.
Robs real passion and drive for food was sparked when he spent two and a half years at the Domaine Gayada in the south of France. This was driven by fresh produce, locally sourced ingredients, local farmers and bakers. It took Rob’s knowledge to a different level and helped develop his skill set in the kitchen. Fresh tuna would be delivered to the door, marinated for two hours in red pepper flakes, salt and sugar and then simply seared. Rob was surrounded by delicious ingredients that were made with care and recipes handed down through the generations such as the local baker who would deliver brioche and sourdough straight from the oven to the door each morning.
The experience elevated Rob’s cooking and instilled an ethos in him that he would take to Harrods where Thomas Keller of French Laundry fame launched a pop up and Rob was on the team.
Always at the forefront of re-imagining dishes Thomas inspired Rob to put his take on classic dishes such as the Weston BLT – instead of bacon, lettuce and tomato our version uses slow roasted pork belly, rocket pesto and an indulgent truffle mayo.
Rob has subsequently spent time in hotels in the Midlands whilst raising his young family.
Why Weston? The fresh produce from the Walled Garden, working with local suppliers, the opportunity to be creative and develop menus in the Granary and to keep his customers happy with delicious food.
Rob has created the new autumn menu and has used the Walled Garden produce as a starting point. The harvest includes plums, beetroot, apples, kale and cauliflower and then Rob takes them to their perfect pairing including confit duck with pickled plums, cauliflower croquettes with a mornay sauce, goat’s cheese mousse with apple and beetroot, plum fool, vanilla cheesecake with caramelized apples and a beetroot brownie with coffee syrup.
The new autumn menu will be one of many for Rob and he is looking forward to working with the brigade and the gardeners to develop more dishes as we go into the autumn. He is also looking forward to getting to know our customers and what they think of the new dishes.
Head Chef Anna Moore says “I am delighted to welcome Rob to my team as Senior Sous chef and he is doing a great job at leading the brigade in the kitchen. Rob joins us at an exciting time and the dishes he has created for the new autumn menu are simply delicious – he has done a wonderful job in letting the produce from the garden lead the direction of the menu.”
Back at home in the kitchen Rob loves marinating and BBQ’ing all year round; there is something about cooking on an open flame and smoke that brings out the best in ingredients.
Our new autumn menus are now being served in the Granary.