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Chef


forward to the judging of the Menu of the


Year Catey sponsored by Quorn


All Menuwatches go


Beef, sweetbread, brassicas, trumpet chanterelle


The Clock House A


s Surrey villages go, it’s hard not to envy the residents of Ripley. With its picture- postcard high street and more than


20 listed buildings, it’s been home to many a des res over the past few centuries. Its most famous building, the Talbot hotel, dates back to 1453 and hints at the village’s his- tory for providing a pit stop to travellers through the ages. But with a population that just skirts 2,000, this leafy hamlet has been able to ensure it maintains its reputation as a sanctuary in the county while offering a smat- tering of boutiques and notable restaurants. Standing proudly in the centre of the village is the impressive Georgian frontage of the Clock House. Formerly known as Drakes, it was operated by Serina and Steve Drake since 2004 and renamed the Clock House in Janu- ary, after Serina took full ownership of the business. The restaurant’s rebirth also happened to coincide with the re-awarding of three AA rosettes to newly appointed head chef Fred Clapperton. Clapperton has now been at the 40-seat


32 | The Caterer | 28 April 2017


“I feel extremely privileged to be in this role and it was a


move I was ready for” Fred Clapperton


Head chef Fred Clapperton is exploring creative freedom in his new position at this Surrey restaurant, says Amanda Afiya


restaurant for more than four years, and orig- inally joined as demi chef de partie on pastry before working his way up to the position of head chef last September. The 28-year-old is a native of Nottinghamshire who has worked at various establishments, including Bibury Manor in Cirencester. He now oversees a brigade of seven, providing eight services a week, from Wednesday to Saturday. While Clapperton is keen to use local produce in addition to the herbs, rhubarb, beetroot and sorrel grown in the Clock House’s own garden, his priority in his first few months as head chef has been to stabilise the kitchen following its chef-patron’s move. Having said that, for him, quality produce is a must. “We obtain the best possible produce, so ingredients come from all over the UK. For me, it’s quality over local,” he explains. Clapperton’s style has clearly been influ- enced by his former mentor, but he says the new menu is very much his “own making”. Take Wye Valley asparagus, duck ham, egg and lovage. Clapperton trims and scores duck


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