CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Hampshire Life today CLICK HERE

Chef Profile

PUBLISHED: 16:21 19 March 2012 | UPDATED: 21:10 20 February 2013

Chef Profile

Chef Profile

Meet Gary Parsons, the Commissioning Chef at Colten Care

Name: Gary Parsons

Job: Commissioning Chef

Company: Colten Care, which opened its seventh Hampshire care home, St Catherines View in Winchester, in spring 2012


Q. Who or what switched you onto cooking?

A. My mother. She was always cooking and baking and was very good in the kitchen.

Q. What is your earliest memory of a taste or a meal?

A. My dad teaching me how to make and cook lava bread, then eating it. The Welsh name for lava bread is bara lawr and it is made from the seaweed called porphyra umilicalis.

Q. Which chef do you most admire?

A. Heston Blumenthal. I think he is a food genius.

Q. In what way does your food reflect your personality?

A. Vibrant, cheeky, hot n spicy and contented.

Q. What is your favourite ingredient?

A. I love coriander and cumin but there are so many more.

Q. What is your favourite kitchen utensil?

A. It has to be my Rational cooker.

Q. Tell us about a kitchen disaster or culinary disaster

A. I lost the tip of my finger on the bacon slicer so my advice is always to use safety gear and adhere to safety regulations.

Q. What is your favourite cheese?

A. Dorset Blue Vinney and Cropwell Bishop Date and Orange White Stilton.

Q. What is your favourite tipple?

A. For champagne I choose Krug Grande Cuvee or Louis Roederer Cristal. For reds I go for Chateau de Beaucastel Chateauneuf-du-Pape. When Im having a beer with the lads Ill have a Peroni or a Cobra.

Q. Describe your signature dish

A. Pan fried scallops in a chanterelle, garlic and white wine sauce served on a sundried tomato focaccia.

Q. Who did you train under and what did they teach you that youll never forget?

A. I trained with the army catering corps. They taught me to always do your best and be organised.

Q. How do you relax?

I love going out with my wife Lorna to good restaurants and trying new things to eat. It gives us new ideas. I also play golf and go fishing.

Q. What advice would you give to anyone interested in a career in cooking?

A. Its hard work with long, unsociable hours but it is very pleasant and rewarding when you have customers offering compliments to the chef, saying the meal was absolutely fantastic or inviting you to go out and have a glass of wine with them. So determination is needed and if you get knocked down, get back up and dont give up. That way you should become a good chef if not a great one.

Q. Whats your most memorable meal?

A. It has to be my wedding day. Lorna and I got married in Las Vegas two years ago and we went to the MGM Grand for our wedding meal. With us was Lornas maid of honour Alex Davitt and my best man Alexs dad and our boss at Colten Care Fergus Davitt.

More from Food & Drink

Monday, November 12, 2018

Whether you’re looking for fine dining, pub food, a romantic meal for 2 or a taste of something from further afield, eating out in Hampshire really has something for everyone. Here’s our guide to the best local restaurants and pubs

Read more
Monday, November 5, 2018

Hello 2019! Join us for a wonderful evening seeing in the New Year.

Read more
Monday, October 15, 2018

Join us at Le Chateau to celebrate the festive season!

Read more
Wednesday, October 3, 2018

2 courses for £25 or 3 for £32.

Read more
Wednesday, October 3, 2018

We are a family run bistro with 4 boutique rooms for overnight accommodation with breakfast.

Read more
Monday, September 10, 2018

Located in Botley, Southampton, Regginas Italian serves the best and freshest seasonal produce, Italian cheeses, meat and seafood.

Read more
Friday, September 7, 2018

Every Thursday we add at least 1 special to our menu ready fro the weekend.

Read more
Thursday, September 6, 2018

Christmas dining and party nights - bookings now being taken.

Read more
Tuesday, August 28, 2018

If there’s one thing we love to do here at Hampshire Life, it’s to celebrate local produce! So here are a selection of some of the best farm shops across the county where you’ll find just that

Read more
Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Coeliac disease affects 1 in 100 people, and many more are seeing the health benefits after waving goodbye to gluten. Here are just a few of the county’s cafes, pubs and producers who are embracing the gluten free way

Read more
Thursday, August 16, 2018

Get a starter and a main for just £9.95.

Read more
Friday, July 13, 2018

Got a date or planning a catch up with a friend? Head to one of these fantastic cocktail bars in Southampton

Read more
Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Once destined for the chip fryer, we visit one north Hampshire business whose award winning single-estate cold pressed oil is giving Tuscan traditionalists a run for their money

Read more
Friday, July 6, 2018

The 2018 festival season is finally upon us and we round-up some of the best food/drink events to visit this summer

Read more
A+ South & South West

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Latest Competitions & Offers

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad

Local Business Directory

Property Search