Ben Varley, Sous Chef at Gravetye Manor, Aged 28
How long have you been a chef?
I started in a small fish restaurant near where my parents lived in Worthing (sadly it’s no longer there) before entering catering college at the age of 16. So 10-12 years.
What made you want to become a chef?
I was a fairly average student at school, with nothing outstanding except for maybe art, music and drama. So when I left school I was a bit lost. It was my Dad who suggested to go to catering college and learn how to cook, probably because I mainly lived on pizzas and cheese toasties as a child.
Where did you start your career?
As I previously said, I started in a local fish restaurant by the sea. Initially just washing up and doing very basic prep jobs but I was always asking lots of questions and learnt very quickly, especially about fish.
Who has influenced you most?
I've taken stuff from every chef I've worked with (the good and the bad things), but it wasn’t until I started at Amberley Castle when my love and passion for fine dining came through.
What do you enjoy most about being a chef?
I enjoy everything really, from the smells and tastes, to the teamwork, pressure and banter.
What and where do you like to eat on your night off?
I like to go out to really nice places and learn from eating and seeing what other chefs are doing, but you also can't beat a decent curry.
What is your drink of choice?
I love coffee
What is your guilty food pleasure?
A whole tub of ice cream.
What are your ambitions for the future?
One day to be in charge of a decent kitchen, maybe in my own restaurant.
George, Ben and the rest of the team look forward to welcoming you to the restaurant very soon, to book please call 01342 810567.
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