Behind the Pass at The Chestnut Horse
For Nathan Cradduck, using local produce is the only way. “Cooking with local ingredients allows me to deliver something unique to our customers” explains Nathan. “I am inspired by the passion that has gone into making the produce and the story behind it. Sourcing locally often means letting the seasons dictate the flavour and with this comes the wonderful excitement of new season produce, something which all year round imports has almost destroyed”.
With a passion for food that he can trace back to working in his local greengrocer at a tender age of twelve, Nathan has dedicated nineteen years to the kitchen. Having worked in London and abroad with chefs including Ben Spalding, Michael Caines and Charlie Lakin, Nathan can now be found crafting in the kitchen of The Chestnut Horse in Easton, near Winchester.
Here he is not only intent on hunting down the very best local produce but is also committed to sharing his passion and skills with the next generation of kitchen staff. “I think we can all learn so much from those around us,” Nathan reflects. “I am a big believer in bettering yourself, this is something I like to see those around me trying to do too. I love working with people who are hungry for success and I enjoy teaching them things I know they will go on to use in the kitchen for many years.”
It is Nathan’s own tutors who have inspired many of the dishes on the menu at The Chestnut Horse. “Our style here combines classical English, modern French and Nordic. It is an amalgamation of what I have learnt on my journey in the kitchen and is homage to my tutors.” And now his learning continues, this time from the producers he has located across the county. The pub is regularly supplied by Chalk Stream Foods, Laverstoke Park Farm, Fjordling, Jude's, Hattingley Valley Wine, Lyburn and The Cold Pressed Oil Company. “I am lucky to work closely with growers and farmers such as Parsonage Farm. Getting to know them, their products and learning what is possible we have been able to develop bespoke charcuterie made from their meat.”
Cooking with local ingredients allows me to deliver something unique to our customers.
It is this pushing for new flavours, never settling and always striving for more which give away Nathan’s commitment to achievement. Never one to lie in on a day off, instead more likely to be training for the next IRONMAN, that is, until his twins came along. “The boys have given me perspective. I’ve slowed down and learnt to enjoy what I have instead of forcing things and always wanting more.”
During July’s Hampshire Food Festival, Nathan will be joining forces with MasterChef winner and fellow Hampshire resident, Jane Devonshire. “I am really looking forward to teaming up with Jane, I think we will learn a lot from each other. There will be plenty of Hampshire produce on the menu and some seasonal classics,” explains Nathan. The Chestnut Horse will also be welcoming Parsonage Farm during the festival for a Meet the Maker event with plenty of tastings.
Some of Nathan's favourite local finds:
The Cold Pressed Oil Company
Producing extra virgin cold pressed rapeseed oil in Hampshire. Perfect for roasting, baking, frying and much more.Find out more
Lyburn Farmhouse Cheesemakers
Lyburn Farm offers a variety of handmade cheeses, all made on the farm using pasteurised milk from their own herd of pedigree cows.Find out more