Simon is self-taught and has never worked in any kitchen other than his own aside from some time spent peeling spuds at the Carlton in Cannes at the start of his career! Although self-taught, the spark of his culinary talent was ignited at an early age…
“My Grandmother was the head cook at the mansion house, Ditchley Park estate in Oxfordshire (owned by the Wills family, of embassy ‘tabs’ fame). She taught me the classics from about the age of six. She’d be cooking for the head of states and I’d peel the asparagus. Amazingly, they all used to come down to the kitchens to speak with her. I’ve still got her menus and testimonial letters. Whatever they had for dinner – so did I! I’d basically done Escoffier by the time I was twelve!”
Simon has had many interesting characters working with him over the years – most notably, the Queens pastry chef from the Royal Yacht. If his pastry was “good enough for the Queen, it was good enough for them out there”. Also passing through was Mark Jordan, now at the Atlantic in Jersey, who was Simon’s commis in the eighties recommended by Simon to Keith Floyd in Totnes.
Simon’s food is classic cuisine that follows the seasons and is a feast for the eyes even before tasting the beautifully worked flavours that combine into dishes of a standard rarely found outside of the top London restuarants.
James, Simon’s son, has gained experience working in a number of Michelin kitchens, as well as Marco Pierre White’s and Piers Morgan’s Hansome Cab pub in London before “returning home” to work with Simon.
“The food at Arrow Mill starts with the best ingredients and with Simon or myself always in the kitchen, standards are consistently high.”