Chef Profile: Simon Hulstone
Having maintained a prestigious Michelin star since 2006, The Elephant in Torquay is one of the UK’s most accomplished restaurants, and its reputation for quality and excellence remains unrivalled in the local area. A team of knowledgeable and dedicated staff work hard to maintain a high level of quality in all areas of the business, but it’s largely Chef-Proprietor Simon Hulstone’s food which remains at the heart of the restaurant’s overwhelming success.
While Simon has taken inspiration from many great chefs over the years, it is his father Roger, also a chef, who has had the most influence on his career. As a child, Simon would often spend time with his father in the kitchen, and it was during this time that he developed his own passion for food and cooking. Being involved in competitive cooking since the age of 16 has also played a huge role in pushing Simon forward in his career, providing an incentive to continue improving on his skills and knowledge to become the best chef he can possibly be. This immense thirst for knowledge and desire to succeed is exemplified by Simon’s many personal achievements. In 2003 he won the prestigious Roux Scholarship, and was named National Chef of the Year by the Craft Guild of Chefs in 2008. One of the most successful chefs in Devon, Simon was also a key figure at this year’s TorqEat festival, hosting a special dinner at The Elephant, and demonstrating his culinary skills in front of thousands of visitors.
Using the freshest local produce available, much of which is sourced from his own farm in South Devon, Simon creates dishes which not only taste and look beautiful, but which truly embrace and celebrate local produce. Menus change frequently at The Elephant, so customers can always expect something new and inventive, and with access to such a variety of fresh, organic produce at the farm, Simon is able to design each dish according to which particular ingredients are in season. Exquisitely crafted dishes such as Brixham crab with asparagus, monk’s beard and lovage, and beetroot tatin with smoked blueberries, goat’s cheese, and fresh lemon thyme, showcase Simon’s skill for creating food that is both flavoursome and exciting, and demonstrate his ever-evolving approach to gastronomy.
As The Elephant continues to build on its reputation as one of the UK’s finest restaurants, Simon’s gastronomic endeavours will continue to shape the increasingly thriving culinary landscape of Torquay.