This month, we check in with Chef Liam Rutherford, part of the team at the award-winning four star Hilton Garden Inn Emirates Old Trafford, who shares the inspiration behind the newly launched hotel menu.
What is your job title?
I am the Hotel Head Chef.
How long have you been at the Hilton Garden Inn Emirates Old Trafford?
I’m relatively new to the team, having just joined over four months ago.
What does your day-to-day role include?
Part of my responsibilities include preparing breakfast and dinner for the residents, and creating new menus for our guests to enjoy.
Additionally, I am in charge of training our kitchen and front of house team on new dishes, and admin jobs such as managing food costs.
What do you enjoy about working at the hotel?
I really enjoy the diversity of the job, as each day is different. The team I work with are great and we’ve got an exciting year ahead – I’m particularly looking forward to the ICC Cricket World Cup.
What projects have you been working on during your role?
My main project has been creating the new menu, which has just launched in the Garden Grille, and now that it’s live, I’m focusing on training my team on the dishes.
I also want to improve our breakfast offering, so that’s going to be the next project that I’ll sink my teeth into.
You’ve recently launched the new menu for Spring/Summer – how do you go about pairing ingredients/creating dishes?
When writing a new menu, I first and foremost think about who I’m cooking for and what I believe they’re expecting. As each restaurant has different clientele, I believe it’s important to understand this first, as you can then create dishes to really inspire them.
Seasonality is also key – you don’t want to have too many heavy dishes on offer during the summer months, whereas in winter, your menu should have plenty of comfort dishes.
What I like to do is pull on my experience when it comes to creating new dishes, as I have developed dishes which I know are crowd pleasers, but you also need to have a few dishes that will intrigue your guests to try something new.
I think the menu should be balanced, and also cater for guests with special dietary requirements.
What’s your favourite dish on the menu?
I’d have to say that my favourite dish is the braised ox cheek, served with buttered new potatoes, tenderstem broccoli and red wine sauce.
I really like to create dishes with ingredients which some people may not have tried before, and if they try it for the first time here and enjoy it, I’d hope it would stick in their mind and encourage them to come back for more.
What’s your one golden cooking rule?
Keep it simple.
What are you most excited about in the upcoming year?
Inside of work, I’m looking forward to making the restaurant more of a destination eatery, rather than just for residents only.
Outside of work, my partner and I have not long welcomed twins into the world, so I’m excited to watch them grow.
Finally, what is your guilty pleasure? (This can be a song, food, TV show etc.)
When I find time to unwind, I do like to watch a bit of reality TV, but don’t tell anyone.
If you’d like to try the newly launched hotel menu, or to book a room at the hotel, Liam and the team would love to see you there. Find out more and book a room or table here.