When it comes to preparing, cooking and serving game, professional chef Tim Maddams is your man – which is why we get him in to teach our game courses, including our upcoming Complete Game Experience. He’s also a dab hand with the very best fresh fish and vegetables, so you can also catch him at our Fish Cookery Days and Fly Fishing Experience, and the Seasonal Cookery Course. For the first interview in our new Meet the Experts series, our resident blogger Sal caught up with him to find out what makes this expert tick.
How did you get drawn into your area of expertise?
I grew up surrounded by real food – not because it was trendy, but because it was good for us and it was less expensive than the processed stuff! I was also lucky enough to work with a lot of great people who pretty much rewrote the book on seasonal cookery – not as a ‘clever’ cuisine but as a way of cooking with real food for real people. When I teach, for me it’s about passing on skills rather than recipes as such – it’s about giving people the tools to make seasonal cookery work for them.
What inspires you?
I think that letting fresh, local produce be at the centre of your cooking, letting it speak to you, can be exciting every single day. I’ve also been inspired by some great chefs who feel the same way – Alastair Little and Fergus Henderson are two I could name.
What attracted you to Vale House Kitchen?
Great people! Bod and Annie are so genuine, and that really resonated with me. For them, Vale House Kitchen isn’t just a business, but a lifestyle – they practise what they preach, by raising and butchering their own pigs, keeping bees, growing their own produce and loads more. I think that’s what makes them really unique amongst all the cookery schools out there – their authenticity.
Why would you encourage people to take your courses in particular?
I think as a tutor I’ve got a depth of knowledge that sets my courses apart, especially when it comes to marine science and the research and understanding of game. Combined with my experience as a chef, that means I’ve got a lot to share with the students.
To find out more about the courses Tim teaches for us:
Complete Game Course
Game Butchery and Cookery Day
Fish Cookery Day
One Day Seasonal Cookery Course
The Fly Fishing Experience – 2 day course
Venison Butchery and Cookery Day
All about Lamb