An interview with Nathan Boon, head chef at The White Horse in Overstrand
PUBLISHED: 13:07 17 March 2010 | UPDATED: 16:54 20 February 2013
The talented head chef at The White Horse in Overstrand is galloping ahead in the culinary stakes. At just 24, Nathan Boon has worked in a number of illustrious Norfolk restaurants and is garnering a glowing reputation for his imaginative menu.
The talented head chef at The White Horse in Overstrand is galloping ahead in the culinary stakes. At just 24, Nathan Boon has worked in a number of illustrious Norfolk restaurants and is garnering a glowing reputation for his imaginative menu of home-made local favourites.
Why did you choose to become a chef? I started working as a kitchen porter at 14 when I was studying at college, but found I enjoyed the kitchen work more than school. I have since done an NVQ level 2 in catering at City College Norwich and worked at Titchwell Manor and The Orange Tree, at Thornham, before becoming head chef at The White Horse more than two years ago.
What is your favourite local ingredient to use? Wighton cheese made from Mrs Temples Cheeses. It is so versatile.
What is your earliest food-related memory? My mum used to bake a lot of cakes and I remember having a tug of war with my sister over the leftover chocolate in the mixing bowl. I didnt have much interest in cooking then, but definitely in chocolate!
What is the strangest thing you have eaten? Stinging nettle soup. When its done right its great, but this was home-made by relatives in Ipswich and tasted bland.
What has been the highlight of your career? Working under the executive chef at Titchwell Manor as head chef at 21, and taking on the head chef job at The White Horse. It was an exciting challenge starting from scratch and building its reputation.
What would you do about the UKs obesity problem? Id ban ready meals. Cooking should be an enjoyable experience, not a six-minutes-from-frozen job. When you cook with raw ingredients you have a lot more control of what you put in your meals too.
How would you get children interested in the origins of food? Id make food fun for them at school by having cooking demonstrations, taking them out to meet food providers and encouraging them to have a go at making things like bread and pasta.
Do you grow your own vegetables or fruit? Since September weve been growing courgettes, runner beans and common herbs at The White Horse.
What would your last supper consist of? Thats easy a rare T-bone steak, beef dripping chips and aioli, finished with chocolate fondant.
What is your favourite speedy supper recipe? A poor mans pizza. You use bread instead of pizza base, then top with Ragu, mozzarella, smoked chicken and lots of tabasco and grill for four minutes.
Are there any foods you cant stand? Marrow; and I blame my auntie! When Id visit her in the holidays she was militant about me finishing everything on my plate, so Id spend half the night staring at a marrow.
The White Horse, 34 High Street, Overstrand, NR27 0AB, 01263 579237, www.whitehorseoverstrand.co.uk