Meet the chef: Jason Hornbuckle at The Point Restaurant in Sandbanks
PUBLISHED: 15:44 13 November 2017 | UPDATED: 14:14 14 November 2017
Jason Hornbuckle, Executive Head Chef, at The Point Restaurant at the Haven Hotel combines classic French cuisine with British style and Asian flavours from his travels
From the age of eight Jason Hornbuckle dreamt of being a chef. He was inspired by the dishes his grandmother cooked when he visited his grandparent’s farm in Somerby in Leicestershire. After graduating from Melton Mowbray Catering College, Jason worked at the prestigious Michelin-starred Four Seasons Hotel on Park Lane, which he describes as a major turning point in his culinary career.
Jason has been at the helm of The Point restaurant at the Haven Hotel for over six years during which time they achieved a two AA-Rosette award. His seasonally-inspired menus feature big bold flavours using top quality locally sourced ingredients, which he transforms into elegant fine dining by the waterside.
Tell me about the food of your childhood
I often visited my grandparent’s farm where they grew an amazing array of fruit and vegetables. My grandma cooked wonderful dinners using these fresh ingredients and inspired me to be a chef. I created a fine dining version of her legendary braised pork belly with onions and apples: braised pork belly, onion confit, apple purée, tortellini, pork and apple jus.
What was your big break?
At 17, I went for an interview at a 5-star hotel on Park Lane in London. Sadly it was a rather negative experience. Feeling a little broken and disarmed by it all, my mum said these exact words ‘Pull yourself together, brush yourself down and get over there’ and pointed to another 5-star hotel - The Four Seasons. Even though I was scared, I went in and asked for a job. I met their Head Chef, Bruno Loubet who offered me a job. They had a Michelin star and 4 AA-Rosettes, and Bruno became my mentor. He taught me about fine dining and classic French cooking. On my days off I worked for free with other Michelin-star chefs. So what started as a negative experience became a life-changing positive one.
What inspires your menus?
Seasonal local ingredients of the highest quality, I also source ingredients from other areas of the UK if they are special. For example, we have amazing pork from a supplier in Devon. The main ingredient is the star in my cooking.
How would you describe your cooking style?
Bold flavours with a touch of finesse; I combine my classic French culinary training with a sprinkling of my British upbringing, and a dash of spice from my Asian travels.
What would be your perfect supper?
Cooking my interpretation of pork belly for my grandma and sharing it with all my family at my grandparent’s farmhouse.
The Point Restaurant at the Haven Hotel, 161 Banks Road, Sandbanks, Poole, BH13 7QL; 01202 707333; fjbhotels.co.uk