Head Chef - Douglas Balish

Douglas joined the hotel as Head Chef of The Tudor Room at Great Fosters. Born in Scotland Dougie first began his career in Ayrshire before venturing to Jersey to work at Bohemia, a Michelin starred restaurant, ranked in the top twenty UK best restaurants. Four years later and keen to progress, his next position was at Whatley Manor which held 4 AA rosettes and 2 Michelin stars. Ambition then led him to Sydney where he worked at Quay, ranked 48th best restaurant in the world for a year before returning to the UK to take up the much sought after position that he now holds.     

Read more about Douglas below….

Did you always want to become a Chef?
I was obsessed with food as a child and loved eating out from an early age but I actually wanted to be a psychologist. It was only when I had a part time job in a pub whilst still at school that I realised I wanted to be a chef.

Who has been your greatest inspiration in your career so far?
I would have to say Martin Burge from Whatley Manor. I worked under him for two years and he really showed me the importance of using good quality ingredients and how to work cleanly and efficiently.  

What is the most distinctive aspect of your cooking? 
I like to use modern techniques with classic flavours and let the best, seasonal ingredients speak for themselves.

What do you enjoy most about your job?
Making the customer happy! There is something about eating great food that always makes people smile and feel happy...that has to be the greatest reward for any chef.  

What do you like to do when you aren't at work?
My favourite pass time is eating out in great restaurants, not necessarily expensive ones, but ones that serve great food. Other than that I am usually found reading a cook book or pretending to be a photographer...another great passion of mine. 

What is the best piece of advice you could give someone considering becoming a chef?
Aspiring chefs shouldn't chase money. Work in the best restaurants possible and learn as much as you can. Use the little money you do earn to eat out in good restaurants and most importantly, work hard!

And finally, what are your plans and aspirations for The Tudor Room at Great Fosters?
Initially I want happy customers and lots of them - I love a busy restaurant! Longer term my aim is to gain a Michelin star and to make Great Fosters a destination for fine dining and to add to the already successful Estate Grill.