Meet our Head Chef: Jamie Smith

When did your food journey begin?

My food journey began with my parents always cooking with local fresh produce. They have an array of cookery books and I always enjoyed looking through them.

My passion really started when I went to work at Browns Hotel, Dartmouth. I remember reading their menu on my interview and wanting to try every dish! Every Friday at browns I would walk to the local fresh fish market and create my menu’s from there. My passion grew when I realised I had a knack for pairing food and creating the best possible flavour out of fresh, local ingredients.

Who are your biggest inspirations?

Throughout my career my biggest inspirations have been my step Dad for his love of Indian cooking and using fresh fish. Also Gordon Ramsey and Escoffier for pure, classic cookery.

What’s the best thing about being a chef?

I love it all! Being a chef has given me the freedom to experiment with a variety of seafood, meat and produce on a daily basis and the with the thrill of a busy service going on every day I have to ensure I am giving my best.

What do you enjoy working/cooking with the most?

Fish and shellfish have always been my favourite! The Cricket Inn is the perfect place to work – daily deliveries of fresh seafood, straight off the boat and into the pan! We have great relationships with our local suppliers and we’re blessed to be able to get lobster, crab and scallops right from the bay opposite the pub.

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not in the kitchen?

When I’m not in the kitchen, I love spending time with my wife and family. I also enjoy taking my boat out on the River Dart to try my hand at a bit of fishing. I’m better at cooking the fish than I am at catching it!