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Taste Maker: Chef Josh Angus of Hide

07 Sep 2023
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In the first installment of our Taste Maker series, we spent some time with the culinary mind behind Hide, Josh Angus.  We delve into the meticulous world of crafting exceptional dishes, balancing tradition with innovation, and the inspiration that drives it all.

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01


 Nyetimber constantly strives for perfection when producing our world-renowned sparkling wines. All our wines are made from 100% estate-owned and grown fruit, enabling control from vine to bottle. When creating your dishes, how do you work with producers to ensure the very best quality is delivered?  

 

I prioritise UK producers, particularly for protein items. Lake District Farmers is my go-to source for lamb, venison, and beef due to our long-standing relationship. I collaborate closely with producers to ensure the best quality, and despite it all being natural produce, they manage to meet my very exacting standards.  

I believe in the simplicity of food—great produce and skilled cooking. I work with Flying Fish for fish from Cornwall, source shellfish from Scotland, and rely on Huntsman Farm for exceptional suckling pigs. We try to visit them at their farms as much as possible, as building strong relationships with these producers is key to delivering the very best for our diners.   

02


Balancing innovation and tradition can be challenging in the culinary world. How do you maintain this balance when creating your menus?  

 

I’m French classically trained, and developed skills in my first Michelin kitchen at Le Manoir. I draw on these classical techniques especially when crafting the fundamentals, like sauces. It’s essential to adhere to tradition, but equally crucial to infuse a modern flair to remain competitive in today’s culinary arena. Dining is now an experience that extends beyond just the food; it’s also about the theatre of presentation. At Hide, we serve our dishes on ice blocks, employ dry ice for dramatic effects, and pay meticulous attention to decoration, often incorporating elements like fig leaves.  

My culinary approach revolves around utilising classical flavour combinations known to harmonise well, but I enjoy adding my unique twist. For instance, one of our dishes at Hide features lobster wrapped in a fig leaf and barbecued. While this technique may have historical roots, it represents a contemporary revival of traditional cooking methods.  

We keep a keen eye on culinary trends and social media has played a significant role in bringing attention to ingredients that may not have been widely used before, such as blackcurrant leaves which can be foraged. We’ve embraced this trend by incorporating them into our vinegars and desserts, showcasing our commitment to both traditional and innovative culinary experiences.  

  

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You create some very distinctive dishes, what is your starting point for inspiration?  

 

It’s really the produce that leads me and I draw inspiration from the seasons, reflecting them in our dishes at Hide. In spring and summer, I feature lamb, while autumn brings venison to the table. There are signature dishes that we will always go back to especially at Hide as people want to see them on the menu, but as a chef, you want to be creative, so even though many of the same ingredients come around year on year, I do them a different way.  The ingredients are the most important thing so I source the best that we can and then don’t mess around with them too much letting them speak for themselves.

04


  Pairing each course, from canapés to dessert, with Nyetimber sparkling wines creates a unique dining experience. What factors guide your creative process when creating a pairing menu with solely sparkling wine?   

 

I’ve never created a pairing menu exclusively with sparkling wine, so it has been a source of inspiration. The dishes I’ve created pull from the flavours found in the wines and as such there is fruit in every dish. I believe these flavours complement Nyetimber’s sparkling wine, such as the gooseberry with lobster and the cranberry with roasted duck. I wanted to create dishes that showcase the character of the wines,  for example, 1086 Rosé by Nyetimber is the first ever English prestige cuvee rosé,  it’s very special as it has been aged for 13 years, which is a long time for rosé, and this brings a nuttiness that I wanted to highlight. I also consulted Nyetimber’s tasting notes for inspiration aiming for a harmonious pairing with each of the sparkling wines in the flight.  

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05


Hide serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner 7 days a week. When you get home after a day behind the pass, what is your go-to comfort food?  

 

 Sometimes I’m stood at the pass for over 14 hours constantly tasting, so I don’t have a great appetite when I get home. We do around 500 covers per day and so at the weekend I love a takeaway, but my comfort food is cheese. I keep a block of cheddar in the fridge, and it’s quick and easy to enjoy with pasta, as a cheese toastie, or simply with biscuits – digestive biscuits are favourites of mine and my little boys.

06


If you could only have one utensil in your kitchen, what would it be and why?  

 

I would say it has to be either my tweezers or a spoon. Because I’m always on the pass, I’m not necessarily cooking or on the section. I would be lost without my tweezers because we use a lot of herbs and flowers and different things, you’re constantly perfecting the plates before they go out. Then obviously a spoon for tasting.   


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