Meet the Chefs at Rockbeare Manor

One of the most memorable parts of any wedding day is the cuisine and we know all too well how challenging it can be deciding your menu, especially when there are so many delicious things to choose from.  Here at Rockbeare Manor, our events and wedding venue in Devon we have a team of expert Chefs who take great pride in all they do and behind the scenes they work incredibly hard to ensure that the quality of the food is first class. 

Chefs at Rockbeare Manor

In this month’s blog we are introducing you to our talented brigade of chefs - the people that make it happen!  

BEN UPTON - HEAD CHEF

Our Head Chef Ben Upton has been with us since the venue opened in 2016 and has been instrumental in designing our beautiful selection of menus.  At the age of 14 Ben began working in a bakery before attending Catering College. He went on to work at Coombe House Hotel, a highly regarded local hotel with fine dining restaurant where in the 12 years that he was there, he progressed from apprentice level to Sous Chef.  After which, he joined us at Rockbeare Manor, to lead the kitchen team, developing the events and wedding menus to ensure that our food offering is always innovative, exceeding every guests expectations.  Rockbeare Manor is one of the leading events and wedding venues in the South West and our food is very much a part of that.

Head Chef at Rockbeare Manor

His favourite part about his role is taking simple ingredients and turning them it into something that impresses people, there is nothing more rewarding! In his spare time Ben likes fishing, camping and spending time with his family.

Most memorable moment: My fondest memory will always be the first wedding we held here at Rockbeare Manor, it was incredible to see it go so successfully, having spent such spent a long time preparing for it.

Random fact about you: In 2020 I broke my fishing personal best and caught a 26lb carp!

Favourite dish to cook: Taking advantage of being near the coast, there is nothing better than cooking locally sourced fresh fish.

TROY JOHNSON

Troy began his career as a Chef in New Zealand, gaining experience working in a variety of different restaurants and cafes before moving to the UK.  After spending some time in the Fine Dining sector, followed by a year in South Africa, Troy returned to the UK and joined our team in 2013 - working at sister venues Priston Mill and Coombe Lodge.

When Rockbeare Manor opened in Exeter, Troy made the move and settled with his family in Devon, a place which reminds him so much of home in New Zealand. In his spare time Troy weight trains, spends time with his family and enjoys watching the Rugby whilst having a few beers at Sandy Park. 

Most memorable moment: Marrying my beautiful wife (Helen, our Events Office Manager) at Rockbeare Manor – it was the perfect day!

Random fact about you: I once boiled eggs for Prince Charles!

Favourite dish to cook: I love the slow process of making stocks and sauces and drawing out flavours from a combination of different ingredients, but most of all I love cooking for my kids. 

JED YARNEY

Quietly confident, Jed is one of the more recent members of the team. He wowed us back in the Spring when, for his working interview, he made us a Trio of Summer Fruits ... Strawberry Chantilly filled profiteroles, rhubarb and custard panacotta and a raspberry and white chocolate fondant. Needless to say he had to join the team!!

Chef at Rockbeare Manor in Devon

Most memorable moment: Reaching the finals of 'Jury's Chef of the Year'.  Getting down to the final 10 was a great achievement and having the opportunity to also experiment in the development kitchen was really enjoyable. 

Random fact about you: I hand forge my own chefs knives, many of which I use daily. It's a hobby that started around four years ago and now I have a lot of my own hardware and a forge set up in my garden.  

Favourite dish to cook: Anything where I can experiment with lots of different herbs and spices. A wholesome Chilli is a particular favourite and I also enjoy making the tagine which is on the Barouche feast menu at Rockbeare Manor. 

I also love the challenge of making the warm chocolate fondant from our Regency menu because the timing has to be perfect, especially when you are serving up to 120 wedding guests all at the same time!   

Chocolate Fondant

HARRY MEADOWS

Harry is our Apprentice Chef Extraordinaire! For someone at the start of his career he has shown incredible dedication and huge potential and he has slotted into the team at Rockbeare Manor like a glove!  

In his spare time he enjoys going to the gym, he loves cars (especially fast ones) and he's an avid Chelsea fan.

Harry - Chef at Rockbeare Manor

Most memorable moment: When I was 17 and worked in a hotel and restaurant in Exeter, Michael Caines came in and we prepared and cooked a four course lunch for him. It was a proud moment for me as he is such an inspirational Chef, and also from Exeter himself. 

Random fact about you: I once had a close encounter with a bear in Canada!

Favourite dish to cook: A delicious fillet steak with peppercorn sauce and triple cooked chips! It's simple, but delicious. I also love the Salmon and Dill Fishcakes served with our homemade Aioli which can be found on the Minuet Wedding Menu, because the flavours are incredible - it's so tasty and looks great on the plate.

Fishcakes at Rockbeare Manor

Thanks to all of our Chefs - what a great team!

 

If you enjoyed this, why not meet our Events Team?

If you are planning a wedding in the Devon or Somerset area, and are interested in discussing our wedding menus or viewing Rockbeare Manor, please contact one of the team on 01392 797444.

 

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