Step inside the kitchen and behind the inspiration of the food at the Stratton House Hotel. Since joining in December 2019, Head Chef Will Ingarfill has transformed the menu, bringing new and exciting food to Biggleswade.
Will explains more in this Q&A.
Hi there, Will. To get started, can you tell us about your love of food & how it got you here, to The Stratton House Hotel?
When I was 14 I watched the TV series ‘Rhodes across Britain’. It followed Gary Rhodes as he travelled across the British aisles, tasting and recreating local dishes – gourmet style. It was the first time I’d ever felt inspired by a chef. It left me wanting to find out more about the dishes Gary Rhodes cooked. I had always been a great lover of food. In that moment I just knew food was something I wanted to pursue.
At 15 I landed my first job in a professional kitchen. Beginning my journey up the ladder.
At 23, I landed the role of Sous Chef at an exciting new restaurant in Hitchin; The Hermitage Rd Bar and Restaurant. It was here that I gained the respect of my fellow chefs and developed dishes to create new and exciting menus; the restaurant soon gaining the reputation of ‘the place to be’. Over the next 6 years I helped to successfully launch a new restaurant under their umbrella, in Bishops Stortford. Before returning to The Hermitage Rd, Hitchin to become Head Chef.
Some time after an opportunity presented itself at South Farm – a wedding venue just outside Cambridge. A highlight during my two years here was the venue being awarded the ‘Best Food Offer’ at the Four Counties Wedding Show 2018.
I moved to Stratton House in December 2019. It was an opportunity for me to really make my mark and to take full ownership of the food.
So what were your inspirations when you started work on the all new Stratton House menu?
What were you looking to achieve?
I wanted to offer Biggleswade and the surrounding villages a standard of food that wasn’t easily available around here. I wanted to create something that was exciting and fashionable. Something that gives the wow-factor. Food and dishes that create a desire for them to experience, time and time again.
You’re obviously a huge foodie; are there any dishes on the current menu that particularly
excite you? Are there any you’re wanting to add?
I think the Curried Chicken Kiev is something that not many people would have had before. I like to play around with dishes and experiment with different flavours. Before I even started work on this dish I just knew it would work. It’s like I can almost see the flavours… I can see what it’s going to taste like! I know that may sound strange, but that’s how I put my dishes together.
There are so many more dishes that I will add to the menu in time, but for now I’m keeping these close to my chest! The ‘Tear and Share Lamb’ on a Sunday is absolutely staying – it’s a real favourite of our guests.
Lastly, we all love a good pub. Somewhere to eat, drink & spend time with our favourite people. But what do you think is it that makes a pub your local? The food, drink; what?
To make a good pub, you need everything – good food, good service, good drinks. But it also needs to be in the right location. The Stratton House is in such a central spot in Biggleswade. Making it the perfect place for all occasions, celebrations, long over due catch ups with friends and family or just for a delicious Sunday afternoon roast. It’s what Biggleswade needs; somewhere welcoming, with a warm atmosphere and great food. That’s what we strive to give.
Experience Will’s creations and the all new Stratton House menu by booking a table online here. Alternately you can tuck into the #strattonhouseathome, via our takeaway service. Learn more about the menu and how to order here.