Stuart James – Head Chef, The Old Thatched Inn, Adstock
The Old Thatched Inn, Main Street, Adstock, Buckinghamshire, MK18 2JN
Telephone 01296 712 584
There’s a certain degree of pressure that comes from working at The Old Thatched Inn. This establishment has a pretty lofty reputation. It is however, pressure that Head Chef Stuart James and his team obviously thrive on.
Diners will keep returning
As many as 250 people will dine here every Sunday lunchtime. The number of diners willing to drive that extra mile to Adstock gives you a pretty good indication to just how good this restaurant is. But if you delve a little deeper, it is the thinking and the philosophy behind every dish served that gives a fair indication as to why those diners will keep returning.
“I get my buzz knowing the customer is happy” said Stuart. “I always try to put myself in their shoes. Regardless of what we serve, I will always ask whether I would be happy to pay to eat the food myself.”
What about the countless hours required to do his job? Stuart smiles and explains “I am a realist. If you want to cook nice, fresh food, it takes time. But I am doing something I enjoy.” It is obvious from standing in the kitchen and watching Stuart work, that he is an extremely skilled Chef with butchery skills that are blatantly first class.
Stuart was preparing an Aylesbury duck which has been on the menu long before he even joined the team. This is the most popular dish served here and we are shown a large duck breast that will be cooked as part of our upcoming photo shoot. “Look at this” says Stuart. “We’ve used the same supplier from day one for our duck. This is quality produce. And we won’t waste this duck either. We’ll use different quality cuts throughout the menu.”
With all the dishes prepared from scratch, this is quite an ‘old school’ way of working. A team of seven will work tirelessly from early morning preparing the food right through to service. Everyone seems to be smiling in a busy environment and Stuart’s job is not only to be a team leader but a “motivator” too.
He openly admits he’s a little OCD but we immediately think that this cannot be such a bad thing when you’re a Chef? “Everything has to be done properly,” explains Stuart. “I am extremely organised.”
As we look around a kitchen in pristine condition, it’s pretty obvious that organisation means working in a clean and tidy environment. After a short time in Stuart’s company it becomes increasingly obvious as to how this kitchen manage to serve food with such finesse on a consistent basis.
The Old Thatched Inn have won too many awards to mention. If that’s not enough to convince you to try this establishment for the first time; then we feel the need to mention that is incredibly difficult to eat food here and believe that anyone, anywhere could have prepared it better. Booking is strongly advised.
The Old Thatched Inn, Main St, Adstock MK18 2JN
Phone: 01296 712584