The Bell at Skenfrith is happy to welcome its new head chef Rupert Taylor, 29. Having studied in Bath, Rupert’s first position was at Homewood Park as commis chef to Gary Jones (now executive head chef at Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons) where he was part of the team that gained three AA rosettes and a Michelin star.
Rupert left to join Bath’s Royal Crescent hotel and then to Heston Blumenthal’s Fat Duck in Bray, where he worked for 3½ years. He left the Fat Duck to work for Jamie Oliver at his Fifteen restaurant in Cornwall where he spent a year before leaving to travel the world. Rupert linked his travels to working for the Mark Warner company in between indulging his passion for snowboarding or surfing. Upon his return to the UK in 2009, Rupert joined The Bell at Skenfrith as Head Chef.
Since it opened ten years ago, The Bell’s ethos has always been to offer seasonal menus using local ingredients, much from its own organic kitchen garden. This is at one with Rupert’s style of cooking. Using local ingredients is of paramount importance to him, as is the presentation of them which he stresses can be as important as the flavour; some of his plate settings are positively Picasso!
Since taking up his first head chef position, Rupert has brought in a fresh twist to The Bell’s menus, while continuing its reputation for offering delicious, modern British cooking using fresh, locally-sourced and seasonal ingredients. He works closely with Michele Civil, The Bell’s organic kitchen gardener, when creating his menus and likes to be very involved with what is being grown in the kitchen garden.
Originally inspired to take up cooking by his grandmother, Rupert’s most influential mentor has been Heston Blumenthal. When not cooking at The Bell, Rupert likes to snowboard, surf and work out at the gym. William and Janet Hutchings are delighted to welcome Rupert to their team. His enthusiasm and wealth of experience will help push The Bell to even greater heights on the culinary scene!