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Chef's Table | McLaren Hospitality

Chef Adam Mclaren

What drives and motivates our founder? 

Below are the Chef’s Table Questions and Answers

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Adam’s Story

Adam comes from a family of foodies and studied under some great chefs all in a fresh food Kitchens. Winning awards and gaining international recognition for his food standards and operational abilities. Adam was first taught to cook by his Mum and found a natural skill with food and flavour combinations.

 He has developed his successful career from family run restaurants, rosette gastro pubs, to high class independent hotels taking valuable skills and experiences to now be a hospitality professional.

 Adam has surrounded himself with the right people at the right time to launch a consultancy company run by professional people for anyone in the industry looking for guidance in all aspects of operational hospitality.

What first inspired you to become a chef?

My mum was a chef so I had a natural interest for food and spent my childhood learning all about baking and all aspects of food. My other interest was cars and engineering so when it came to choosing what to do, both my parents and I sat down and flipped a coin. Follow my mum and become a chef or follow my dad and go into mechanical. Many years later here we are!

Which career achievements are you most proud of?

Becoming Exec Chef at Brooklands, I had always held the hotel in such high regard and placed this position on a pedestal of where my career wanted to be and now venturing into my own solo projects, my career is moving from strength to strength

Do you have a signature dish?

I don’t have a signature dish as such. But the one dish I always begin writing a menu with is a Scallop starter. I always try and do something creative and something I have never done before. Not that there’s anything wrong with the classic combinations but where’s the harm in trying scallops with peanut butter and dark chocolate.

How do you source your ingredients?

I love ingredients that tell a story, something with history behind it. Whether it’s a breed of beef that’s native to one area or a single origin chocolate grown in a tobacco plantation something with depth and character   

Do you still cook at home?

I do cook at home but only ever something fancy if I’m trying to impress. Otherwise its simple, less washing up the better!

Have you had any cooking disasters?

Back in my younger days, I had starters plated on 2 plate stacks for a 240 function and I had to move them both from one side of the hotel to the other. I was moving down a corridor and had to push the trolley down a slope, all perfectly planned until the trolley snagged on the carpet and the whole thing came crashing down 20 minutes before the guests sat down. Surrounded by smashed plates and mozzarella the head chef saw me and to say he wasn’t amused is a understatement

Where do you like to go to eat if you ever get out of the kitchen?

I love London, I was brought up in the countryside, so I love going into the city and spending times wandering round all the various markets and finding all those little pop ups and new little niches

Who is your culinary hero?

I have always had an appreciation for Marco Pierre White, being a founding father of modern day cooking and the way he pushed boundaries of food and the industry its always something to be admired

What advice would you give to a young chef just starting their career?

Keep pushing! Don’t be afraid to push the boundaries and try something different and when the times get hard, its late at night, your tired, all your friends are out, remember you are a Chef you have a skill set that not everyone can do, and you have the ability to change someone’s day with a single spoonful of something so don’t give up!

Testimonials

“I have worked with Adam on a supply basis for many years. He is a great communicator and a very organised Exec Chef, we could always count on his knowledge and understanding of the supply chain and when it came to sourcing the correct ingredients at the correct time of year. The way he approaches his operational ordering is admirable and sets an example to chefs and operators alike”

Matt Smith

Smith Supply Company

“Adam prepared a set menu for us for a VIP dinner to show how champagnes can match the flavours of different foods.  Each course absolutely delivered in flavour, presentation and complemented the champagnes perfectly”

James Smith

National Account Director, Pommery Champagne

“Aside from being a great chef, Adam has fantastic organisational skills. His logical forward thinking has been hugely helpful during projects such as the Kitchen refurbishment and the planning of extension to the restaurant. His systematic approach to events results in smooth organised banqueting events while his creative mind results spills over just well-presented food following the management of the 1907 restaurant, bar & grill’s Instagram app”

Jon McClelland

Commercial Director, Brooklands Hotel

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