Chef’s special : Peter Woods

Peter Woods, Head chef, The Four Seasons Hotel, Perthshire

Located on the bans of Loch Earn in Perthshire, The Four Seasons Hotel majors in contemporary Scottish cuisine using seasonal local produce. Peter Woods was appointed head chef last month, reprising a role he held between 2006 and 2008.

How long have you been in the catering business?
36 years.

What’s your career highlight so far?
I have many highlights in my career, so I have to say that my current position is my most recent.

How would you describe your food?
Local, seasonal, modern Scottish.

What’s the price of a typical three-course meal (without wine)?
£38 per person for four courses.

Why should someone visit your restaurant?
To eat honest, local, seasonal food, cooked and prepared with affection.

Describe your staff.
Brilliant! My sous chef Rhomena Watson and chef de partie Stephane Bouvier came with me from my previous restaurant and I am really enjoying working with Christopher Telford, who is back at the Four Seasons for his second season.

What’s your favourite dish to cook at home?
All shellfish.

Is there any food you dislike?
Badly cooked.

What’s your favourite wine?
Vintage Port.

Not counting your own, which is your favourite Scottish restaurant?
Boath House, Nairn.

What’s your favourite Scottish ingredient?
Hand-foraged wild mushrooms.

What makes a good chef?
Commitment, a love of good food and being a good listener.

What’s a tip every chef should know?
Always aim for improvement.

Who do you admire in the industry and why?
The Roux brothers for their drive, brilliance and amazing consistency over many years.

How do you relax outside of work?
Salmon fishing is great for relaxing. I also enjoy curing and smoking salmon and shellfish at my homemade smokehouse.

Who would you invite for your ideal meal and where would you go?
My partner Morag and I would go to Terre a Terre in Brighton – in my opinion the UK’s only exciting vegetarian restaurant (that from an avid carnivore).

What makes you laugh in the kitchen?
My staff.

Anything else we should know?
36 years on, I still wake up and relish the idea of going to work, to create great food.