Three ambitious young chefs who have worked at some of the country’s top restaurants have taken up posts in the kitchen at award-winning Llangoed Hall near Brecon.
Christopher Emery, 23, has been recruited as head pastry chef, Ashley Lewis, 23, originally from Swansea, has been appointed junior sous chef and Hayley Smith, 19, is the new chef de partie.
Christopher and Ashley previously worked together at the three Michelin starred The Waterside Inn, Bray, owned by famous brothers Michel and Alain Roux, while Hayley has joined from the one Michelin star The Bath Priory Hotel, Bath, where she worked with executive head chef Sam Moody.
They are excited to join a talented brigade led by head chef Nick Brodie who guided the restaurant at Llangoed Hall to three rosettes at the AA Hospitality Awards in London last year.
Christopher, a native of Bristol, is promising Llangoed Hall diners the wow factor with his dishes. During his career, he has also worked with executive chef Hywel Jones at Lucknam Park Hotel and Spa, near Chippenham and with head chef Andre Garrett at Cliveden House, Taplow.
“I was looking for my first senior role in pastry and this post at Llangoed Hall gives me the opportunity to broaden my knowledge and develop my career,” he said.
“We have a very strong team with the potential and right style of food to achieve major honours.
“I like my food to be seasonal and fresh with a focus on flavour and execution. The dishes must look great but taste even better. I want to generate the wow factor with my dishes.”
A former student of Swansea College, Ashley began his career as a chef de partie at Lower Slaughter Manor in the Cotswolds before moving to The Waterside Inn. Prior to taking up his new post, he undertook a short French tour, working at a Relais Chateaux and Michelin restaurant at Le Côte Saint Jacques near Paris.
“I wanted to come back to Wales and jumped at the chance to work at Llangoed Hall because I think it’s a hotel that’s going places,” said Ashley.
Hayley, who has won a series of awards as an apprentice and former student of Frome College and Bath College, said she liked the modern influences on dishes produced by the team at Llangoed Hall.
“I am really impressed by the food and have learnt so much in the first two weeks I have been here,” she said.
All three chefs say they are dedicated to helping Llangoed Hall win major accolades for its food.
Llangoed Hall’s managing director Calum Milne said: “We are delighted to welcome Chris, Ashley and Hayley on board and trust they will make a very positive contribution to the food offering at Llangoed Hall under head chef Nick Brodie.
“Chris and Ashley have an outstanding pedigree and background in top end food, having worked at the three Michelin star The Waterside Inn under the leadership of Alain Roux. Hayley also shows great potential, which we shall look to develop.
“The appointments come hot on the heels of achieving our third rosette and installing a new £125,000 kitchen, which demonstrates that we have no desire to stand still. We aspire to be the very best we can be.”
Last year, the country house hotel was named The Sunday Times Country House of the Year 2014-’15 and was listed twice in The Good Hotel Guide 2015 for Great Britain and Ireland’s top 10 Editor’s Choice country house and historic hotels.