The fish never sees a hook but is plucked from the tide-nets at Skipsea, the meat and veg arrives from local farms and much of the rest – herbs, honey, fruit and so on – is gathered from the grounds. It’s then turned into fabulously designed dishes by chefs Callum Williams and James Pulford to be served in Hide, the hotel’s restaurant.
Callum arrived at Tickton after spells at Winteringham Fields and under East Yorkshire’s Franglais legend François Primpied. He and James jointly run the kitchen and restaurant, with Callum being very slightly more front of house.
All decisions are taken jointly and they begin each new dish with a single ingredient and experiment to work out how best to utilise it.
It’s this dedication to local and insistence on innovation that maintains Hide’s reputation as one of East Yorkshire’s best-kept secrets.
Can you remember the first dish you ever cooked – and was it a success? The first meal I ever cooked myself I think would have been a pollock fillet with cheddar béchamel and veggies for my mum and stepdad at home. It sticks in my head as it was the first time I ever got that feeling of satisfaction from people praising something I’d cooked and worked hard to produce.
Who is your inspiration in the kitchen and why? I think any chef has the usual suspects. People you appreciate for what they have done in the industry. I have an endless list of those types of figures. But one of the biggest influences on my life is my stepdad. He always inspired me to be the best version of myself I can be. Even though he wasn’t very kitchen-savvy, the life lessons he taught me allowed me to get to where I have today.
What was the first recipe book you ever owned? The book that had the biggest effect on me is the go-to manual for any great, or budding, chef – Larousse Gastronomique. It’s a huge, heavy encyclopaedic reference and recipe book that covers all the essentials of cooking. It’s the chef’s version of Gray’s Anatomy. It covers everything from the basics like how to boil an egg and what chopping board to use through to the fundamentals of various worldwide cuisines. It’s the springboard to enable you to cook any type of food while also developing your own style.
If you organised a dinner party, which three people would you invite and why? Being a Manchester United fan I’d have to go for Sir Alex Ferguson. He must have so many amazing stories. For entertainment value, I’d choose Lee Evans. And I suppose I had better pick a chef, so I will go for Gordon Ramsay.
What is your favourite ingredient and why? It’s so hard to pin down one ingredient, to be honest. It may seem like a ridiculous thing to say, but I’m going for salt. There are lots of ingredients that are great by themselves and that have an influence on other ingredients, but it still amazes me how simple salt transforms and enhances flavours. It’s impossible to imagine what food would be like if salt vanished overnight.
What did you get up to during lockdown? I managed to time a house move pretty well and moved in a couple of months before we locked down, so I had a pretty extensive jobs list to work through to keep me busy. Other than that I just tried to appreciate the time with my other half and my little girls.