“A TRULY GREAT DISH STARTS BEFORE THE FIRST MOUTHFUL”

 Meet Arron Rhodes

Head Chef at Gough’s on Gough 

 

Childhood summers spent picking fresh berries, in forest fields scattered with ancient Roman ruins.

A mind filled with medieval stories of kings, queens and castles.

The echoing sounds or power and technical prowess emanating from the Silverstone Formula One Grand Prix circuit just a mile away.

A mum that cooked, and instilled traditional values, and an enlightened grandmother with a hippie streak.

This heady blend of British heritage, tradition, innovation and sensitivity is how Arron Rhodes, now executive chef at Gough’s on Gough, the first restaurant by Timothy Oulton, got his start.

Arron landed his first job as stagiaire in the 2 Michelin star restaurant The Vineyard at Stockcross, and since then has persistently acquired an international culinary experience in Belgium at the 3 Michelin star Hof van Cleve and a stint with chocolate master Bert van Cauthenberge, in Singapore at 2 Michelin Star Restaurant Andre, and most recently in Peru working in world 4th ranked Central Restaurant, and world 15th ranked Maido by Mitsuhara.

Arron counts among his influences Andre Chiang in Singapore and his recent experiences in Peru with Chef Virgilio Martinesz Veliz, where he was exposed to the simple and fresh ingredients of Peruvian street food, with its slightly more acidic palette of chili, spice and lime, which makes its influence felt on the menu at Gough’s on Gough.

Arron’s culinary philosophy flows from his classical training, persistence and openness. The concept for a dish starts as a vision that must be coaxed from the imagination to the plate, a process that is sometimes awkward, and involves solitude in an empty kitchen very early or late, with Arron “going at the dish again and again”, until he starts to feel it “flow like a stream” from vision to plate.

Texture is key, and Arron tries to explore a range of textures in each dish, so that it comes alive in the mouth.

And seasons are important: Summer is a favourite, with fresher more vibrant garden ingredients, although there is appeal in the challenge of cooking in the winter when ingredients become scarcer. 

When asked about the difference between good and great, it’s all about the smell. Presentation is a given, but the enjoyment of a truly great dish starts before the first mouthful, as the smell draws you in and sets up an anticipation. In other words, a true feast for the senses.

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