Not only are we re-opening The W at Low Wood Bay with a new vibrant look and oozing elegance, but we are delighted to introduce the newly appointed Head Chef, Sam Rees.
Sam in newly re-furbished restaurant The W with Restaurant Manager, Craig
Sam is a bright young talent within the English Lakes Hotels group and he has moved across from his role as Chef at Low Wood's Blue Smoke on the Bay to head up the team at The W. Here he tells us a bit about himself and his culinary journey to date.
Why did you decide to become a chef?
I’ve always loved food but when I was young I didn’t know you could have a career out of it. When I was 15 years old, I was offered a weekend job of washing up and peeling potatoes and vegetables. I really enjoyed it and as time passed, I offered to get more involved in the food preparation and cooking. That led to me deciding to go to college to study Hospitality and Catering.
Most memorable career moment with English Lakes?
Sam receiving his Chef of the Year award in 2019 from shareholder Jonquil Cook and Chairman and Managing Director, Simon Berry
I’ve enjoyed so many memorable occasions during my career at Low Wood Bay Resort & Spa, but the stand-out moment was being awarded Chef of the Year in 2019! This is voted on by the team, so I felt really proud that they thought so highly of me.
Who is the biggest inspiration on your career?
Lots of people have helped me on my way throughout my career, and in terms of cooking, I had an exceptionally good working relationship with my first head chef, Gary Mallon. His influences certainly play a part in the chef I am today.
What is the secret to your culinary success?
There’s no substitute for hard work and commitment, plus embracing the job and all it entails and enjoying it all. I always strive to be the best I can be, seeking new opportunities and relishing the chance to learn new skills.
Your favourite dish to prepare and why?
A few of the dishes from The W menu, including the famous Low Wood Bay sticky toffee pudding
My culinary speciality is desserts, so I will always be drawn to being creative in the pastry section. Since starting at Blue Smoke on the Bay, cooking over wood on an open grill has given me new opportunities to try new techniques. I recently created a smoked strawberry jam which is always a talking point for the guests. The key to any great dish is in the quality of the produce, ideally sourced locally. And more often than not, simplicity is the key.
What are the key strengths you look for in your team?
For me I'm looking for key attributes such as loyalty, teamwork, dedication and a willingness to learn.
Book a Table at The W
Re-furbished, re-opened and ready to welcome guests and visitors. Call our friendly team on 015394 33338 or book online.