Phil Fanning – Executive Chef Owner, Paris House, Woburn
01525 290 692
Woburn Park, Woburn, Bedford MK17 9QP
The Phil Fanning we had the pleasure of meeting for the first time was not the Phil Fanning we were expecting. We do not mean this in a bad way at all. But for someone so talented, who owns a restaurant steeped in history, with a reputation for serving the most amazing food, we expected someone a little less down to earth.
A family man with a naturally friendly nature, Phil is instantly likeable for the way he talks openly about any subject, and especially about what he wants to achieve at Paris House.
Accessible to everyone
We confessed to being a little nervous as we approached our review. Why? Because we’re talking about fine dining and sampling a 6 course meal. This isn’t a daily ritual. Would we feel comfortable? Phil looked at us and smiled, “That’s something a few people mention but I want Paris House to feel accessible to everyone. Eating here doesn’t have to burn a hole in your pocket and we strive to offer value for money.”
We explain how the waiting staff immediately quashed any nerves – we felt incredibly relaxed from the moment we took our seats. Phil is quick to point out that the staff obviously play a major part in making Paris House feel less elitist. However, it’s also the subtle changes to the restaurant that can make a difference. He explains “You will notice we don’t have table cloths. Who wants to sit there and worry about spilling their food on the white linen? We want people to feel relaxed and enjoy themselves.”
There are subtle Japanese influences not only in the restaurant’s décor but in all of the food served and the techniques used to produce them. Phil is very much British, serving British cuisine in the heart of Woburn. We were a little curious as to where these influences originated. “It might sound silly to some, but when I was just three years-old my sister used to take part in Judo. I grew to love Judo, learnt Taekwondo myself and started to become fascinated with the Japanese culture.” This fascination continued when he sample Sushi for the first time while on holiday in Canada. He loved it.
“The food we serve is predominantly British cuisine of course. We are here on the Bedford Estate – you don’t get much more British than that! However, with Japanese food, there are no real pronounced flavours. It is all about the technique and combining flavours that work. So we do our best to use those techniques.” We could enlighten you further about these methods for preparing food and flavour combinations so evident at Paris House; but MK Select have no desire to give away the secrets of one of the most respected Chefs in the area!
Using the best
We move on to discuss the wine. It is not often you will see a restaurant of this calibre offer tasting menus accompanied by purely English wines but we confess to being impressed. “The wines are chosen not just because they are English. We simply want to use the best. Chapel Down are producing some of the best wine available. They’re selling their wine all over the world. They are outstanding wines.”
Paris House is clearly in good hands it is safe to say we cannot wait to return. You can read our in-depth review by clicking here. It is well worth keeping an eye on Paris House’s Facebook page for all the latest news and events. Click here to find them on Facebook.