Kitchen Talent: Damian Brown
Chef and Stakeholder Damian Brown opened the Chesil Rectory with long time friend and colleague, Mark Dodd, six years ago and has never looked back. The lovely medieval timbered building is now the oldest commercial property in Winchester, and the restaurant is one of the most popular eateries in the city. Damian lives in Winchester with his wife Katie (Chesil Rectory’s General Manager) and their young daughter, Molly.
Damian trained at Runcorn College and Northcote Manor and has worked for such prestigious establishments as London’s Mirabelle, L’Escargot, Vineyard at Stockcross and Fortnum & Mason among others.
“My main inspiration for becoming a chef was watching early Delia Smith, Gary Rhodes and Rick Stein programmes; it has been the only thing I’ve ever wanted to do.
“I’m heavily influenced by the seasons, it drives how my year goes. Because of this I really love the cooking styles of Simon Rogan, Ben Shewry and Brett Graham. They are very similar in approach - very earthy, natural cooks, who respect fresh produce.
“The best thing about my job is working with local suppliers creating dishes from their hard work, to make food that is delicious, simple, tasty and worth the trip. Using local produce in Hampshire is a chef’s dream come true; we are very spoilt for choice. You can’t go wrong with Greenfield Pork or Blackmoor Game.
“In fact at the moment one of my favourite dishes to cook is marinated Greenfield Pork chop served with a risotto of wild mushrooms made with dried ceps, and a big bowl of green vegetables tossed in garlic butter.
“This is all I have ever wanted to achieve: creating delicious dishes that customers really enjoy and to have a successful restaurant business that I am proud of being part of.