TV chef sings pub food's praises

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Chefs, Cooking, Culinary art

"Pub food is the back bone of the UK," according to celebrity chef Phil Vickery.Mr Vickery, who is known for his passionate defence of British food...

"Pub food is the back bone of the UK," according to celebrity chef Phil Vickery.

Mr Vickery, who is known for his passionate defence of British food as well as his work on popular cookery programme Ready Steady Cook, said: "The pub has had a pretty bad reputation in the past but pub food has got a lot better over the last five years and I suspect it's going to get even better."

But he said pubs had to concentrate on doing what they do best. "Pub food is great and when I go to a pub that's exactly what I want," he said. "It should be simple food, well done with no napkins or formality and at a good price."

Speaking at the second Greene King Chef Academy last week Mr Vickery said that pubs were leading food trends across the UK.

"The relaxed informal dining that pubs are so good at is definitely a trend others are beginning to follow," he said. "The future is affordable, accessible good food - like we get in pubs - with everyone welcome. We need to look after families better in Britain and pubs are beginning to do that very well."

He said that customers had a growing awareness of ingredients and food and pubs chefs should not ignore demands for authentic, regional foods. And seasonality was vitally important, he added. "We've forgotten about the seasons here," he said. "If you buy seasonal produce it's cheaper and it tastes better. Why on earth would you buy strawberries in January?"

Mr Vickery pointed out that nutrition was also increasingly important and told the chefs they had a responsibility to their customers.

"It's really important to understand the nutritional aspects of what you're cooking," he said. "As chefs we have a responsibility to understand the salt levels, the fats, where the ingredients were sourced and so on."

Greene King's Chef Academy

Greene King Pub Company's Chef Academy is an annual event - launched in 2003 - that brings together chefs to learn new skills and share ideas with some of the top names in the catering business.

The second Chef Academy, which took place last week at Greene King's Rothley Court Hotel, near Leicester, was hosted by celebrity chef Phil Vickery and covered menu planning and management as well as teaching the chefs how to make money in the most efficient way. Mr Vickery's business partner Stephen Poole also talked about food suppliers.

Greene King's top chefs also played a part. Ed Cracknell from the Grosvenor Hotel, Hampshire, Bob Tucker from the Falcon Hotel, Northamptonshire, and Steve Bennett from the Plume of Feathers in Welwyn created lunch and others showed off their skills creating pasta, meat, fish and sausages in cookery workshops.

Greene King's marketing director Adam Collett said: "The day was a great success and feedback from our chefs that attended has been very positive. It is really important to provide our chefs with top class training and this event fulfils the brief."

Related topics: Chefs

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