Introducing Our New Head Chef Ben Keightley

If you’ve visited Baltzersen’s recently, you might have met our new Head Chef, Ben. More often than not it’s our kitchen team who serve food to your table which we think is a nice touch because it allows them to present their food to you and answer any questions.

It also ensures our chefs are proud of every dish they serve which is something that’s really important to us.

Ben started at Baltzersen’s a few weeks ago, bringing a heavy dose of passion for food and a high level of service, and he threw himself in at the deep end creating a brand new dish for our menu and changing some of our recipes behind the scenes.

It’s been a busy few weeks but we found a few minutes to chat with Ben about his background, his favourite dishes to cook, and what he’s most looking forward to about joining us at Baltzersen’s.

Can you tell us a little about your background and how became a chef?

When I was 16 I was doing work experience as a kitchen porter and began to watch the chefs not only working as a unit but creating beautiful dishes. I remember thinking to myself that I’d love to be part of that and feel part of a team.

Once my work experience ended I applied for the Harvey Nichols Scholarship which gave me the opportunity to do a three year catering course under one of Yorkshire’s top chefs, Richard Walton-Allen. I learned a lot at Harvey Nichol’s; from discipline to speed and so much about flavour.

What were you doing before coming to Baltzersen’s?

Before I came to Baltzersen’s I was Head Chef at Filmore & Union. It was a lot like Baltzersen’s in terms of the great service and relaxing dining experience and I loved working with the great food they offered.

What’s your favourite thing to cook at home?

My favourite thing to cook at home is a classic Cumberland sausage and creamy mash with loads of onion gravy. Nothing fancy, just something I grew up on.

What do you think about the independent food scene/dining scene in Yorkshire?

The independent good scene in Yorkshire is fantastic at the moment, offering so much variety and using brilliant Yorkshire produce, from our rhubarb in January to March and asparagus in spring.

What drew you to working at Baltzersen’s?

I’m very excited to be part of the Baltzersen’s team. I love the Nordic food – from the delicious cakes to the pyttipanne which is a particular favourite. The team are fantastic and have been so welcoming. They all seem to have a huge passion for the food and the service which is sometimes hard to find.

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