Simon has been cooking professionally since his school days, and is one of the UK’s most decorated chefs, with achievements such as gold in the World Skills Awards and the 2008 title of National Chef of the Year under his belt. He has represented the UK in the Bocuse d’Or twice and was the captain of the British team in the Culinary Olympics. Aside from his competition achievements, Simon is the head chef at the Michelin-starred The Elephant and has brought his extensive influence of traditional and world cuisine to the English Riviera in Torbay.

Simon takes his position as a role model seriously, taking responsibility to nurture young talent, training chefs to Michelin standards and mentoring them to compete in culinary competitions. Some of his career highlights include working with Heston Blumenthal to create a menu for British Airways passengers during the recent Summer Olympics in London, as well as to prepare a Team Great Britain fundraising banquet which was attended by Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge.

He is married to Katy, with three young daughters, Tansy, Cicely and Betony Melisse. He shares a love of his adopted Devon and its produce and regularly takes part in demonstrations at local colleges and food events.

Mackerel paté with cucumber pickle

Poaching liquor

2 shallots peeled and finely sliced
1 leek (white part) washed and finely sliced
2 celery sticks washed and finely sliced
Garlic clove, peeled and crushed
1 bay leaf
4 black peppercorns
3-4 fresh parsley stalks
1 kg turbot or sole bones washed and all blood removed, chopped
200ml dry white wine
2 litres of cold water
1 lemon, juiced
50ml olive oil

In a heavy based pan on medium heat, sweat off the shallots and garlic without colour. Add the bay leaf, parsley, peppercorns and fish bones. Allow to cook for 2 to 3 minutes, add the wine and reduce until almost dry. Add cold water and bring to a simmer, allowing to simmer for 20 minutes, skimming constantly. Remove from the heat and leave to stand for 20 minutes. Add lemon juice and pass, check seasoning and store in the fridge.

Mackerel paté

4x 150g mackerel fillets pin boned and skin left on
75g whipped butter
2-3 tbsp crème fraiche
½ tsp finely grated horseradish
Smoked paprika to taste

In a wide pan, poach the mackerel fillets in your poaching liquor until cooked. Once cooked, discard the cooking liquor and separate the flesh from the mackerel skin. Put the mackerel flesh in a bowl add the butter, crème fraiche, horseradish, and paprika to taste. Then combine all the ingredients with a fork, until the mackerel has broken up into fine strands and season (similar to a meat rillette). You want the mixture to be dry enough so you can quenelle it later on. If it isn’t just add a little more crème fraiche. Cover and chill.

Cucumber pickle

1 cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced
600ml water
2 cloves
1 cardamom pod
4 black peppercorns
½ tsp caraway seeds toasted
½ tsp mustard seeds
Small bay leaf
1 sprig of tarragon
30g salt
50g Chardonnay vinegar

Heat the water up to boiling point with everything except the vinegar. As soon as the water boils remove from the heat and allow to cool. When the liquor is cold add the vinegar, and put the sliced cucumbers into a kilner and cover with the vinegar mix. Leave until required, allowing longer will improve the taste.

*Article from The Culinary Artist, Issue 2

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