Chef of the moment: Daniel Perjesi, head chef, The Crown at Woodbridge
PUBLISHED: 12:19 28 June 2016 | UPDATED: 12:19 28 June 2016
It's all about the ingredients, says the Hungarian born chef
Have you always had a love of food?
Yes, I love to eat! I always wanted to be a part of making family meals with my mum and grandma when I was growing up in Hungary. Hunting and being outdoors in the countryside was a big part of family life, so I have always been around food and the freshest ingredients.
How did you become a head chef?
I wanted to pursue my passion so I went to hospitality school to learn the trade. After I graduated, I was fortunate to gain experience at a couple of the top restaurants in Budapest. It was then that I realised I wanted to move to England to further my career and take it to the next level. Since being here I have worked with the likes of Richard Corrigan [Corrigan’s Mayfair] and Eric Chavot [Brasserie Chavot] in London and Sussex.
How is life at The Crown?
It’s great. The Crown at Woodbridge has a fantastic restaurant and everything is going really well. Our aim is to make it stand out and be different from the others in the local area. That is how I came in to the picture. We take great pride in making the most of Suffolk’s natural larder to create great British menus with a difference. Our food is a celebration of beautiful, seasonal ingredients brought to life in our own unique style.
What is your favourite part of being a chef?
The ingredients, for sure. There is produce here in Suffolk that even the top restaurants in London would struggle to find and certainly be proud to serve.
Is cooking here much different here to your native Hungary?
Yes, very. In Hungary there is a lot of one pot cooking – throw in a little bit of this and bit of that and magic happens! We are also mad about paprika. It really is a staple ingredient back home and is widely-celebrated. We’re proud to have a reputation for producing world class paprika.
What are you favourite dishes on the menu at the moment?
We have a beautiful spring lamb dish with asparagus, peas and lemon. It is really beautiful and has all the flavours of spring. Wild garlic has just come into season which we are serving with our day boat fish, salsify and cockles. Again, a beautifully fresh dish serving the early morning’s catch.