Meet the chef: Ashley Gartside at The Rose & Crown in Longburton
PUBLISHED: 15:24 16 June 2017 | UPDATED: 15:24 16 June 2017
Dishes packed with flavour and locally sourced ingredients, including Dorset ales and ciders, inspire the menus at the Rose & Crown in Longburton
Ashley Gartside is Head Chef at the Rose & Crown, a traditional 14th century thatched pub situated in the village of Longburton, just outside Sherborne. Cornish born and bred, Ashley has a passion for creating fabulous fish dishes and working with locally sourced seasonal ingredients. Alongside is a range of award-winning local ales and ciders, some of which are used in Ashley’s menu.
Tell me about the food memories of your childhood
The smell of fish pie cooking as I reached the front door, fish and chips from the chippy in Penzance and Newlyn and Nan’s roast dinners.
What made you decide to become a chef and who inspired you?
It was doing work experience on the Isles of Scilly with my aunty Shelly. The family business has always been in hospitality, running pubs and restaurants; it’s in my blood. Sources of inspiration come from the various kitchens I have worked in, including Andrew Mahon in Bary, Manchester who had a meticulous eye for detail creating spectacular food whilst completing hundreds of covers daily, while Johnny Baddley with his Michelin background taught me about seasoning, spice and taste.
How are you settling into Dorset’s food scene?
Cornwall to Dorset is fishing to farming and I’ve adapted accordingly. I am still forming relationships with local farmers and meat suppliers. One of my revelations has been the wonderful local venison supplied by Margaret Ralph in Lions Gate. We also get free range eggs from family relations in Holwell.
With your Cornish roots is fish something you enjoy cooking?
It certainly is! I spent several months working as a cook/deck hand on a trawler cooking fresh fish straight from the sea. It’s where I gained my love for fresh fish.
Does the pubs range of local ales and ciders feature in your menu?
I use local Lilley’s cider to braise pork, and local ales go into the batters for the fish as well as gravy for the pan fried liver and bacon.
What seasonal ingredients are currently exciting your taste buds?
Succulent local lamb, British asparagus and vibrant fresh spring vegetables.
Any favourite signature dishes?
The Mediterranean Vegetable Stack of halloumi, fresh peppers, courgettes, onions, tomatoes and aubergine with a walnut pesto. I also enjoy cooking my Crab and Crayfish Linguine with chilli and lemon, dressed watercress and soft herbs.
What do you enjoy cooking at home?
Homemade chips and a proper burger with smoked cheese, cured bacon and a sticky BBQ sauce. I’m happy!
And your ideal supper?
Tacos made by, and eaten with, my fiancée Sigorni who is quarter Mexican.
Find out more at roseandcrownlongburton.com or call 01963 210 202