When he was thirty-one, Graham Garrett hung up his sticks and took up the chef’s knife. Straight away, he started working with chefs like Nico Ladenis (which is the culinary equivalent of going from practising in the parents’ garage to playing arenas with Mick Jagger), and Graham rose to the occasion, even cooking for the Queen and at 10 Downing Street.
After he hung a shingle in front of his own Biddenden restaurant The West House in 2002, it took Garrett just two years to win a Michelin star, which he’s maintained ever since. He can now lay claim to a star from Egon Ronay, the highest possible rating from Harden’s for its food, and was a finalist for the title of Harpers and Queen’s Best Restaurant Outside London.
Garrett’s taste for savoury umami flavours means plenty of fish, rustic pork cuts and substantial game and fowl dishes. He also puts as much care into his desserts as the rest of his meals, and they often include unexpected touches – such as an almond cake soaked in Sauternes and peaches and cream made with vanilla mascarpone, or Treacle tart with tangy blood orange. Hearty classic dishes are given cheffy touches without losing sight of the original rustic charm, such as Pressed apple with cobnut crumble, or his famous Sausage roll with foie gras.