We’ve gone behind the scenes with our very own Area Chef, Adam Randles, to find out what it’s like to be a chef at Côte Brasserie. Follow the series on our blog and find out how Adam got into cooking and what inspires him about food.

How long have you been cooking professionally?

I’ve been working in kitchens for the past 14 years, starting off as a teenage kitchen porter in the local pub. I have always worked with fresh, seasonal produce, and have progressed from pubs to restaurants, where I find myself now – working at Côte.

How did you get into cooking?

Without wanting to sound too cliché, I was always getting stuck in with a bit of home cooking for my family. I enjoyed cooking Sunday roasts the best and it gave me the chance to experiment with different types of meat, as well as seasonal accompaniments and different vegetables. Of course, I was a fan of celebrity chefs and the usual cookery programmes, and have spent a lot of time over the years playing around with their recipes and putting my own spin on things.

Where did you train?

I’ve not had any professional or classical training; I’ve learned everything from chefs I’ve worked with over the years. Starting out at a quaint country pub in Surrey – a pub that was top of the Good Food Guide list – gave me the opportunity to work with seasonal ingredients and lots of local produce to create classical British dishes. I worked on these skills when I moved to a gastro pub in the Midlands and learned to modernise traditional recipes and techniques.

Since 2011, I’ve worked my way up from Section Chef to Area Chef at Côte, and have learned a lot about French cuisine along the way. Six years on, I’ve been taught by a number of skilled chefs, and am lucky enough now to pass these skills on to others.

How would you describe your cooking style?

I would best describe my personal style of cooking as classical British with a French twist. Having started with English pub grub before moving on to French brasserie-style fare, I have managed to add my own style to certain dishes.

What inspires you about great food?

I still love seeing the reaction of happy friends or family when you cook them great food and we sit down to eat together. The food isn’t the only important thing, though – it’s the atmosphere and the passion behind it all. I think it’s the same principle at work, seeing diners in our restaurants happy with what they are eating. I believe in cooking fresh, seasonal food well to get the best out of all ingredients, and putting a bit of energy and heart into what you’re cooking goes a long way.

Keep an eye out for the next behind-the-scenes interview with a Côte chef and follow us for future recipes you can try at home!