Meet the Chef
The William Cecil at Stamford & The Bull & Swan at Burghley
Menus which follow seasons not fashion…
Phil Kent, head chef at The William Cecil hotel & The Bull & Swan started his kitchen experience at the Royal Crescent hotel Bath, landing the role of commi chef. This is where he was fortunate to work alongside head chef Luke Richard, absorbing culinary skills, attitude to work and gastronomic inspiration. This first role, certainly confirmed he was on the right career path! From here Phil moved to The Bath Arms, Longleat securing the title of sous chef, before arriving in Stamford 2011. Six years on, Phil continues to carve his culinary reputation, innovating unique dishes for the seasonal menus at the property.
Phil is constantly bringing new ideas to the table – in both senses of the word! He believes that each dish must be well presented but also be full of flavour. In doing this he always makes sure that he uses as much local produce as possible.
Can you tell us a little about the role and what’s involved?
My role as Head Chef, is to continually come up with new inspirational seasonal dishes, sourcing the very best seasonal ingredients available to me.
I’m passionate about offering quality with a touch of uniqueness. For example we’ve just updated our seasonal menus which include Rioja braised new season Southdown lamb, chorizo & roasted garlic cassoulet, sautéed Jersey royals.
Another key part to my role is to ensure my kitchen team operates smoothly from the start of service until the end. In my job you learn daily!
What do you love most about the property?
We have a great team of 8 and an even better working atmosphere. I’m also very fortunate to have supportive management behind me, from the director of Hillbrooke Hotels to the General Manager at the property; this is invaluable when working as a Head Chef.
Who are your inspirations?
I admire Heston Blumenthal, I love the way he experiments with ingredients’, producing some amazing dishes, and some actual works of art! Luke Richard, now owner of the Arc Angel Frome, was my Head Chef at The Royal Crescent hotel. Luke taught me quite a few things which I implement daily; whether it’s training my team, creating a fine dining dish from scratch or pulling up my sleeves and getting amongst the washing up! It’s totally all about the team in my kitchen.
If you could have famous dinner party guests who would you invite?
I would absolutely love to cook and serve dinner to HRH Queen Elizabeth! Can you imagine the kudos and sense of pride!
What can we expect from the properties this year?
Continuing to use local produce with some traditional British classic dishes, yet adding my fine dining twist. My sights are now set on reaching for the 3rd AA Rosette.
Click to pg 24 of Active Magazines Food Glorious Food Special & find a seasonal starter & main recipe from Phil, which you can impress your dinner guests with!
To book & enjoy a fine dining experience T: 01780 750 070 or visit thewilliamcecil.co.uk
Antipasti With Us…
Sunday Roast on a #SundayStopOver
Nibbles & Jugs