Matt Gillan is Head Chef at The Pass, South Lodge Hotel, part of Exclusive Hotels and Venues. A protégé of Daniel Clifford and John Campbell, Matt's food shows a distinctive streak of originality, a quality he nurtures by questioning the 'whys' as well as the 'how's' of cooking. This drive propels him to use techniques and ingredients from around the world to produce creative, technically superb food that looks and tastes delicious.
Since opening in 2008, The Pass has won a Michelin star and 4 AA rosettes. The Pass is a chef's-table concept restaurant where diners are sat alongside the kitchen and can watch the chefs at work. 12 chef's tables and 26 covers is all the space allows. Matt often speaks of his love of taking a raw product and turning it into something different, saying this transformational philosophy drew him to the chef profession. He enjoys taking underestimated vegetables - leeks, cauliflowers, beetroot - and exceeding expectations of what can be done with them. The dishes at The Pass change frequently but Matt's dish of Duck breast salad with burnt coconut, pineapple and cashews or Tonka bean panna cotta with popcorn crumble and soy sauce gel showcase his style well.
I've always been fascinated by the 'magic' of desserts. I would look through this book and try to understand all the different sponge and mousse techniques or just stare at some of the creations with in the book
The thing I love and enjoy about this book is that it is Heston. It's like being inside his head. The attention to detail in every aspect of every dish through out the book is phenominal. Each time you pick it up, you learn a little bit more about something else.
This book probably had one of the biggest impacts on me. It was one of the first in my collection and showed me what could be achieved if you work hard. It made me want to be good enough to work in a place like that, and cook food like he did.