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Meet a young chef with ambitions to make his mark at a leading hotel restaurant near York
The head chef at The Parsonage Hotel & Spa is the talented Darren Davis. Darren began his long career at the hotel at the tender age of 16 in the role of a commis chef.
He left after a few years to work in France and study classic cookery before returning to England and York after a year or so. He worked in a few well established restaurants before returning to the Parsonage Hotel, Esckrick, near York, where his heart is.
Darren, 29, has worked hard during the last eight years to gain his position as head chef and at a young age for such a prestigious establishment.
Having maintained an AA rosette, Darren now aims to win a second rosette knowing then that he will have put his stamp on the hotel.
During his tenure so far as head chef, Darren has seen the Lascelles Restaurant increase in customer numbers.
His menu Simply Yorkshire uses the best in fresh local ingredients usually sourced within a 15-mile radius and is a steal at 18 for three courses.
His more complex Al a carte menu includes such great dishes as Pressed BeefRich Tomato Sauce, with fresh noodles, parmesan tuille, and cibatta with garlic butter, Darrens delicious reinvention of spagehtti bologanese.
The hotels motto is Classic Style with a Modern Twist which sums up Darren Davis perfectly.
400g belly pork (skin on).
2 pork fillets.
6 slices Parma ham.
4 large potatoes.
125g melted butter.
2 large baking apples.
2 tblsps brown sugar.
1 bay leaf.
12 baby carrots.
250g green beans.
250ml double cream.
250ml sweet cider.
2 cloves garlic.
Salt and pepper
Remove the skin from the belly pork and lightly score.
Place on greaseproof paper on a baking try and salt well.
Place belly pork in an ovenproof pan and cover with goose fat (good vegetable oil can be used as an alternative).
Slice an orange and two cloves of garlic and place in a pan with the pork.
Tin foil the pan and place in an oven on 100 degrees for 2 hours along with the salted skin.
Once skin is crispy and belly pork tender remove from the oven and set to the side.
Line an ovenproof dish (approx. 20cm x 20cm) with greaseproof paper.
Melt butter with a teaspoon of dried sage.
Peel and thinly slice potatoes (a mandolin is good for this), place in a bowl and season well.
Pour melted butter over potatoes and mix well.
Layer the potatoes up in the lined oven dish overlapping slightly and pour left over butter over the top.
Cover the dish with foil and bake on 160 degrees for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Once tender remove from the oven and set aside (this can be made the day before and set in the fridge to be reheated when required).
Peel and core the apples and roughly chop, place in a thick bottomed pan with sugar, bay leaf and half a cup of water.
Place on a medium heat and reduce by half. Blitz to a smooth puree and set aside.
Peel baby carrots. Top and tail green beans and halve.
Blanche in a boiling lightly salted water until tender and refresh in cold water.
Trim the fat and sinew from the pork fillet.
Season the pork with a little salt, pepper and dried sage, and roll in Parma ham.
Roast in the oven for 15 minutes and set aside to rest.
Spoon the apple puree onto a plate, slice the belly pork into four and place on the puree.
Portion Pomme Anna onto the plate.
Slice pork fillet onto the plate.
Sautee the green beans and carrots with a little butter. In a hot pan reduce the cider by half and add cream.
Bring back to the boil and spoon over pork fillet (sauce can be made earlier and re boiled).
Cut crackling to garnish.