Introducing Rob Clarke, the newest promotion in the Lancaster House kitchen team. He tells us about his career to date, first impressions of Lancaster House and his favourite dish of the day.
My career started seventeen years ago in a café. I worked as a prep chef at weekends, making sandwich fillings and preparing Sunday roast. Then I moved on to different pubs in my home town of Deal in Kent.
After an 18 month stint with P & O ferries and then as a Sous Chef with The Coastguard Restaurant I relocated up North. I started my own business at Carnforth Railway Station – the home of Brief Encounter Tea Rooms.
A few years later, and some time out of the kitchen as a Security Guard, I missed the buzz of hospitality and catering and found myself at Lancaster House working my way up to Sous Chef.
My inspiration in the kitchen is my Grandad. He was a self-taught army cook and taught my brothers and me to bake bread and to cook. One of the memorable ingredients was fresh local fish. Yes, we had to catch the fish and then gut and fillet it before learning how to cook it!
My favourite celebrity chef is Gordon Ramsay. He is not afraid to put in a hard day’s graft, like myself.
When I visited Lancaster House for the first time and saw the roaring fire and luxury suites and the genuinely happy and smiley staff, my first impression was Wow! I felt that I had found a place to learn new skills and to take my career to the next level.
My favourite dish from the Foodworks menu has got to be the Lamb Hot Pot Deconstruction. This boasts all the seasonality of spring and keeps the Lancashire theme on the menu as well as looking and tasting amazing.
My favourite personal recipe is Beef Stew. Not any old stew. This is my Grandad’s recipe which has been handed down through the family and remains a Clarke secret.
The Foodworks menu uses the best and freshest local ingredients. Try Rob’s favourite lamb dish for yourself or choose something else from the mouth-watering selection.