Dean Hoddle, Head Chef at Silverstone Circuits chats to H&E North about his time at the home of British motor racing and his passion for creating stand-out menus.
Dean Hoddle has been the Head Chef at Silverstone for the past two years, heading up all on-site catering for race days and MICE bookings. Under Dean’s management, Silverstone has partnered with some of Northamptonshire’s best artisan producers, using local, quality produce in much of the venue’s dishes.
Before joining Silverstone, Dean was a freelance chef for more than six years, working at some of Britain’s most iconic events and venues. Some examples of Dean’s previous experience include; the Ryder Cup; Lords cricket ground, Silver Sturgeon luxury yacht, The Rolling Stones’ 50th anniversary, The Natural History Museum and various car launches, award ceremonies and sporting venue events.
Hi Dean! So, where do you get your inspiration from?
I take inspiration from many different places. For me, it all depends on the brief, if it’s a historical theme then I have the luxury of delving into the British Racing Drivers Club’s archive for past material and menu ideas, whereas if it’s a modern brief I consider textures, flavour pairings and adding twists where I can.
I’m also a fan of rustic food. I like stripping back some menus and really homing in on classic dishes and adding my stamp to it.
Do you have a favourite place to eat?
I don’t really have a favourite place to eat as I enjoy trying new places, new foods and new concepts. However, being so land-locked at Silverstone, whenever I’m near the coast I do tend to head straight for the fish and shellfish restaurants – you simply can’t beat locally caught fresh fish!
Do you like cooking at home?
There’s nothing worse than cooking for my family! They’ve been spoilt with so many elaborate dishes over the years that it’s hard to pin down their favourite.
I have a smokehouse at home that I’m often experimenting in with my friends and I make a mean pork pie. My boys love my burritos, and my wife is partial to my chocolate fondant. I prefer a no-fuss approach to cooking at home as it’s more important to enjoy the good times with family and friends together.
How do you put your own stamp on each of the hotel’s menus?
My general menu theme is quite rustic with lots of colour and, of course, fresh produce. I don’t believe it’s solely about me and my individual stamp, rather it’s about the team. We create very colourful and vibrant buffets for events and go to town on plated dishes with intricate textures and flavour combinations, using core ingredients. Ultimately, using the experience and collective vision of the team is far more beneficial than drawing on one chef’s ideas.
Any high points in your career?
My biggest achievements to date would be winning Northamptonshire’s Local Food Hero award, and competing on TV’s Bake Off: The Professionals, as well as delivering a successful British Formula 1 Grand Prix service each year.
Dean Hoddle shares a 1940s themed menu, inspired by the British Racing Drivers Club archives…
Oven roast chicken breast in a creamy white wine and tarragon sauce
Wooton vegetable pie with parsley potato, cauliflower cheese and buttered peas
‘Riz imperatrice’ – Cold set rice pudding
Dean also details a typical heritage lunch at Silverstone…
Northamptonshire ock ‘n’ dough or veggie ock ‘n’ dough, served with Evesham Vale pink fir apple potatoes, Brackley grown baby vegetables and Evesham Vale rainbow carrots
Baked Towcester cheesecake on a ginger biscuit base with Chantilly cream
Northamptonshire cobblers nibble cheese board with Friar’s Farm fruit cheese, Silson village pickle and Westbury bakery artisan breads