Head chef at Briarfields in North Norfolk, Daniel Trench, is a big seafood fan but his gran’s rice pudding has a special place in his heart
Who are you and where do you work?
My name is Daniel Trench and I am the head chef at Briarfields Hotel in Titchwell, on the North Norfolk coast
How long have you been there?
I have been here for four and a half years. I started as a Chef de Partie and was promoted to Junior Sous Chef after two years and then to Sous Chef after a further two years and then Head Chef six months ago
Where were you before?
I was at Habrough Hotel, North Lincolnshire
Where did you train?
I trained at The Birmingham College of Food
Who has inspired you?
I have been inspired by my gran who was the best baker I’ve ever met. She would make everything, from breads to cakes, tarts and an amazing baked rice pudding – that’s real nostalgic food for me
What is your favourite ingredient?
I love working with fish; the preparation and cooking. Also salt and pepper, such simple ingredients that aren’t used enough to enhance the flavour of a base ingredient
Do you have a favourite gadget?
Water baths are so handy because of the controlled cooking that can be achieved. Food stays moist and tender but you can’t cook everything with a water bath; duck breast for example just doesn’t work
What is your signature dish at this time of year?
I haven’t got one standalone dish but I enjoy creating dishes and menus using the most amazing local produce such as Brancaster crab and samphire. Our upcoming A Taste of South America night has been an amazing opportunity to develop a creative menu around a theme
What do you like doing when you are not cooking?
I love walking my dog, Jax, and taking in the stunning Norfolk coastline
What would you be doing if you were not a chef?
I’ve never wanted to be anything else!
What are your foodie predictions for the next few months?
Veganism is beginning to be much better accepted into the industry, with many more vegan dishes appearing on menus and fantastic new restaurants opening
Tell us about the wine evening you have planned
With wine expert Lee Evans of Condor Wines sharing some brilliant bottles from South America, we have developed a gorgeous menu to match. There are beef empanadas and crab croustades to start, followed by seafood ceviche and then an amazing main of slow-cooked Argentinian style beef, plus a zingy lemon meringue cheesecake for dessert. If that doesn’t get your mouth watering, I don’t know what will – although it takes place on Friday 23 November, Briarfields is offering a D(W!)BB offer of £250 per couple, so I’d highly recommend kicking back and staying the night!