Meet the chef: Steven Edwards at etch.

Chef Steven Edwards tells us about his culinary inspirations

If you're heading for the Sussex seaside, then grab a table at etch. in Hove. You'll find Steven Edwards is firing on all cylinders with his exciting new-generation Brit cooking.

What inspired you to become a chef?

SE: The love of eating was my biggest inspiration. From a young age I have always enjoyed different foods and flavours. I would say it was a lunch at Le Manoir that inspired me to be a chef though. I was and still am in ore of what they have achieved and what they do.

What are the vital ingredients for a successful kitchen?

SE: I believe a successful kitchen is based around great produce, a solid team and direction. All three need to work hand in hand to progress and achieve your goals.

What are your favourite foods/ingredients?

SE: My favourite ingredient to use at the moment is onion. Its sounds strange but I love making a feature of it rather than just using it to bulk out dishes, stocks and soups. It’s very versatile and can be a dish on its own.

What's your favourite dish on the current menu and why?

SE: My favourite dish at the moment is sea trout and cockle. It’s really unique as we serve cured sea trout with cockle ice cream, battered cockles and dill. I love the freshness and contrast in textures and temperatures in the dish.

Who are the chefs you admire most? Who has had the most influence on your cooking style?

SE: I grew up inspired by Gary Rhodes and what he did for British cuisine and love the refinement shown by Peter Sanchez-Iglesias at Casamia. One of the best meals I have ever had was in his restaurant in Bristol.  

What are the best places you've eaten in recently?

SE: My favourite meal this year was at Northcote. It was an Obsession event with Niall Keating. Its definitely got me saving up for a trip to Whatley Manor. 

An edited version of this interview first appeared in the AA Restaurant Guide 2020.

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