Under The Grill

PUBLISHED: 09:35 04 September 2012 | UPDATED: 21:49 20 February 2013

Meet the chef at Drayton's Stower Grange

Home grown chef

A posh picnic is the perfect midsummer meal for chef Lee Parrette of Draytons Stower Grange Hotel.

Why did you choose to become a chef? From a young age I started working as a weekend kitchen hand at my local pub/restaurant and instantly fell in love with it. From that moment I knew I wanted to become a chef.

What is your earliest food related memory? Visiting massive food markets in Spain and being amazed by all the fresh fish, veg and cured meats on offer. Another one has to be helping my nanny cook one of her famous Sunday lunches!

What do you enjoy most about working at Stower Grange? The fact that it is a family run business, we have a great little team here that all "muck in" and help each other. Also being given free rein over the menu and allowing the kitchen to develop and try new ideas.

What is the strangest thing you have eaten? Vieux Lille, voted one of the strongest smelling cheeses in the world! The smell really was awful but the taste was incredible...

What is your favourite local ingredient? Has to be local asparagus, we have a supplier five minutes away from us, who picks and delivers it to us daily. Also Cromer crab has to be up there, both of which in my opinion should just eaten for what they are and not messed about with.

Are there any foods that you dont like? Bananas, cooked or uncooked, I cannot stand them!

Do you grow your own fruit or veg? Yes, we have a small veg and herb garden on the grounds here at Stower that the chefs look after. Its great for us all to be able to plant, grow, pick and then cook our own veg.

What would your last supper consist of? Not your conventional three courses. Id have a massive picnic! Homemade breads, pickles, chutneys, pork pies, local cheeses, fruits and cured meats. To finish, a nice sharp lemon tart with fresh raspberries. All washed down with a glass or three of Norfolk cider...

Have you had any cooking disasters? Not personally but have once had a power cut 30 minutes into a busy service. But with the help of a small gas oven, torches and a couple of barbecues we managed to feed everybody.

Stower Grange Hotel, School Road, Drayton, NR8 6EF; 01603 860210; www.stowergrange.co.uk

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