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Devonshire Arms chef Adam Smith - keep it simple this Christmas

12:30 15 December 2015

Adam Smith adds the finishing to his venison dish

Adam Smith adds the finishing to his venison dish


Adam Smith, our newly-voted Yorkshire Life Chef of the Year prepares his favourite Christmas food. Photographs by Andy Bulmer

Venison is readily found in supermarketsVenison is readily found in supermarkets

Award-winning chef Adam Smith loves Christmas with his young family but it’s rare that he is at home. Instead he’s with his team in the kitchen at the Devonshire Arms, Bolton Abbey preparing Christmas food for a number of very lucky guests. ‘I think I have spent just one Christmas Day at home with the family in 12 years and I think we had turkey and Christmas pudding.’

But today he’s preparing three dishes to inspire Yorkshire Life readers. They are as far away from traditional Christmas Day lunch as you can get yet still has a really festive feel. To be honest, we are so enamoured of Adam’s work that beans on toast from his kitchen would taste special.

The trick, he says, is to keep whatever you’re doing simple. ‘Christmas should be about keeping food simple to give you more time with your family and friends.’ We are all agreed on that. ‘I’ve prepared three dishes I really like to make,’ said Adam. ‘I love salmon; it’s perfect for Christmas and really simple with brown shrimp, bergamot, radish and marigold finished with lemon oil.’

Adam chose venison for his main dish. Venison has never been so readily available in supermarkets than this year it seems, and it makes a healthy main course because it is low in cholesterol. Adam has prepared a haunch of venison with baked apple, celeriac puree and juniper jus.

But if you have a sophisticated sweet tooth then a dessert of roast figs with port and spices is for you – doesn’t take long but is every bit a special Christmas treat. w

Tell us what you prepared for Christmas lunch this festive season and whether you believe nothing can beat a traditional turkey and Christmas pudding feast. Email or tweet your thoughts @Yorkshire_Life or leave a comment below

About Adam Smith

Adam is from Birmingham and started his life at the kitchen sink in a local restaurant, only getting chance to cook when a couple of the chefs didn’t arrive for work one day.

He decided once he finished school he would go to University College in Birmingham to further his training. He completed his NVQ 1&2 and within a year he was headed off to the bright lights of London

Adam’s lucky break was his opportunity to work with chef John Williams at The Ritz in London and became an integral part of the team in his nine years there.

He won the Craft Guild of Chefs Young Chef of the Year award in 2010 then followed with the Observer Food monthly- Young chef of The Year in 2012. He also won a Roux Scholarship which gave him the opportunity to work for three months at Le Meurice in Paris which has 3 Michelin stars.

Adam, rated by Michel Roux Senior as one of the most talented chefs in the UK, was drawn to Yorkshire partly because of the quality and range of produce being grown in the region. Like any focused chef only the best ingredients will do. ‘I want to make the most of the Yorkshire larder when it is at its best or further afield when necessary,’ he adds. He has the Devonshire’s kitchen garden to rely on for supplies including prolific harvests of heritage tomatoes, courgettes, cucumbers, baby beets, strawberries and edible flowers.


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