Mann at the Fox
PUBLISHED: 05:20 16 February 2015
It was his grandfather’s gardening and his grandmother’s cooking which inspired Michael Mann, head chef at The Fox at Lyng.
Why did you choose to become a chef?
I chose to be a chef for the love of fresh ingredients and food in general. My grandparents had an allotment and my grandfather grew his own fruits and vegetable. I fell in love with fresh produce while helping him, from growing to harvesting, each year.
Where did you train?
City College Norwich.
What is your earliest food-related memory?
Cooking Christmas dinner with my Nan at about five years old.
What is the strangest thing you have eaten?
Caramelised red onion and beet root tart with chilli ice cream. It was one of my own dishes, and homemade ice-cream, but I’m really not sure about savoury ice-cream, although we sold lots!
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
Being promoted from second chef at The Lodge in North Tuddenham to the owners’ new venture, and becoming head chef at The Fox at Lyng.
What do you enjoy most about working at The Fox?
Serving good quality food and making the customers eating out experience an enjoyable one.
What would you say is special about your menu?
What makes my menus special is that they are the types of food that I enjoy to eat and cook.
What is your favourite local ingredient?
My favourite local ingredient? Hmm, so many, samphire, asparagus, Brancaster mussels . . .
Are there any foods you can’t stand?
I don’t believe there is any food that I don’t enjoy.
Have you had any cooking disasters?
My worst disaster so far in my career is forgetting some turkey crowns that were in the oven during service. I still get reminded about that, two years on.
What would your last supper consist of?
Game terrine, my partner’s chicken jambalaya and my Nan’s bread and butter pudding and custard.
Do you cook for friends and family too?
Yes, it’s when I don’t have the pressure of cooking for people eating at the restaurant, and can use family and friends as tasters for new dishes I want to put on a menu.
The Fox, The Street, Lyng, near Norwich, NR9 5AL; 01603 872316; www.thefoxatlyng.co.uk