Who are you and where do you work? My name is Richard Golding, and I’m currently the executive chef and owner of Goldings public house and the Market Bistro in King’s Lynn.
Where did you train? I haven’t actually had any formal training or worked in anyone else’s kitchen! I started my cooking career after falling out of love with the advertising job I had, and wanted to pursue my passion which was cooking. Lucy, my wife, and I both wanted to move into something that we were in control of and moved to Wales to take over a small country house hotel. It was a sharp learning curve and it quickly became apparent that I had a lot to learn. I then began to read as much as I could by every chef that had published a book, and over time began to develop my own style and beliefs in what I thought I should be doing.
Who has inspired you? Having not worked with any other chefs it’s hard to have a favourite chef that has inspired me through working together. I found Heston’s Fat Duck cookbook a real inspiration in the science of food, but I have also have drawn a lot of inspiration from chefs such as Magnus Nilsson and Peter Gilmore.
Name three ingredients which are always in your food cupboard. Bacon or a good pancetta makes pretty much any meal taste better. And eggs – I can’t be without eggs as they are the basis for most things and also great just on their own. And maybe a good rapeseed oil, something that has a great flavour and can be used to finish salads, dress dishes, make mayo and more.
What’s your guilty pleasure?
Frozen skinny chips! We don’t serve them in the restaurant but I do cook them for the children and I can’t help but eat them – frozen.
Describe a perfect meal.
It would be somewhere with a view, overlooking the sea or mountains. I’d need Lucy and a selection of dishes made from whatever’s around us. I wouldn’t want anything too heavy, more of a tapas style menu. Being in the kitchen all the time, I tend to graze, and find sitting down to a large meal very uncomfortable. Rather, I like to just pick at bits and enjoy layers of flavour.
Where do you like to eat out in Norfolk and beyond?
We try and get out as much as we can but find it hard due to work commitments, especially since we opened our second site. On the occasions when we can get out, we try and visit as many places as possible. We very much have enjoyed over the past year, The Old Bank in Snettisham, Socius in Burnham Market, The Duck at Stanhoe, Benedicts in Norwich, and 22 in Cambridge to name but a few.
What don’t people know about you? They might not know that I used to make power kites from scratch and race buggies on Pendine Sands in South Wales when we worked there. I managed to get 37mph out of one of them.
What are your foodie predictions for the coming months? My predictions for the next few months are uncertain. We are constantly trying to evolve and find new flavours and produce to work with.
But as the seasons are constantly changing, it is becoming increasingly difficult to predict what produce will be available and so planning and writing menus is becoming more difficult..
I do hope, though, that the future will bring more sustainable and more socially responsible restaurants to the forefront. We live in a country where it’s become the norm to have whatever we want whenever we want it, with no thought to the process of how we get it. I think we all need to be more conscious of what we use when we are cooking, and what it takes to produce those ingredients and at what cost to the environment and the people that produce them.
Featured in Issue 33 – February 2019