Black Dog Cafe, Tunbridge Wells, Kent

5 minutes with our Head Chef

Get to know our team – 5 minutes with the Black Dog’s head chef of 4 years Jonathan Chase on what he’s learnt, what makes him happy and what’s ahead.

Jon pic

Jon started his career at Birmingham College of Food studying Culinary Arts Management. He went on to build his passion & culinary skills at many of Tunbridge Wells reputable food establishments such as Woods and Carluccio’s. He joined the Black Dog in 2012 and has been instrumental in us building a renowned reputation for a quality menu that is fresh, seasonal and interesting.

What is your most essential item in your kitchen?
Without a well maintained set of good pans we wouldn’t be able to produce half our menu to the standard we keep.

What is the greatest cooking tip you’ve ever been given?
Keep it simple – let the ingredients speak for themselves.

What is your favourite Black Dog dish & why?
Our slow roast pulled pork. It’s a real labour of love and after a 7 hour prep time it’s a real joy to serve in the cafe. As a customer I love eating our Black Dog mushrooms – add a couple of poached eggs to it and it’s the best way to start your day.

The look of a plate is very important, what tips can you give on presenting a good looking dish?
Again keep it simple – a crowded plate is a crowded pallet, have no more than a handful of different things and try to be varied with the flavour, colour and texture.

If you could prepare only 1 last meal what would it be?
I think it would have to be something exotic that I’ve never tried before, I feel (working in an Aussie cafe) I should try kangaroo before I die!

What food trends or ingredients do you think we’ll be seeing a lot of in 2016?
Healthy, mindful eating is very current and with more research being done to see exactly what different food stuffs do to our body, I think we’ll see the same focus on free form dietary alternatives. Personally I would also like to see more care being taken to buy local, we are blessed with a huge amount of brilliant farms & local producers in our area – their products are so much better than mass produced food and can be very affordable.

If you weren’t a chef what would you be?
I have a great interest in food produce at source and self sufficiency, so I would probably be involved in some form of farming or manufacturing, keeping it small and local.

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