I APPLIED to join the navy as an engineer, but missed out so my father suggested that I apply as a chef since I was good at cooking at school and I have always loved eating. Here I am 22 years later, head chef at Killingworth Castle in Wootton.

My cooking style is modern classical and I am currently loving my interpretation of a ‘rocky road’ made with dark chocolate mousse and cherries. My guilty pleasure when I’m too tired to cook is ice cream.

My favourite places to eat and drink around Oxfordshire include the excellent coffee at Eden Cafe in Witney and Zappi’s Bike Cafe in Oxford. I’m inspired by Heston Blumenthal – the food at the Fat Duck is amazing. And by my lovely partner Lidia who keeps me going.

Chicken Terrine

* Chickens, 2 free range whole
* Basil leaves, 1 handful
* Roast garlic, 2 bulbs
* Thyme leaves, chopped 2 tsp
* Lemon zest grated, 1 lemon
* Maldon sea salt

Carefully remove the skin from the chicken using a small sharp knife being careful not to pierce the skin. Lay the skin inside up on to doubled clingfilm ensuring there are no gaps.

Line a terrine with the clingfilm and skin, with skin on the inside.

Remove the chicken meat from the bone and dice into 2cm cubes.

Mix all the ingredients together, place into the terrine and press down.

Fold over the skin to enclose the mixture, then fold over the clingfilm to completely cover. Cover with foil. Place the terrine into a baking tray and fill with hot water until half way up the side of the terrine. Place into a fan-assisted oven set at 80C or 100C in a non fan-assisted oven.

Cook for about 1.5 to 2 hours or until the internal temperature reaches 70C on a temperature probe. When cooked remove from the tray of water and remove the foil.

To ensure it sits flat, place a piece of stiff cardboard wrapped in clingfilm and foil on top. Place the terrine into a tray in the refrigerator and place a weight on top.

Refrigerate overnight. When completely cold and pressed, remove the weight.

Carefully remove the chicken from the terrine and remove the clingfilm.

Slice about 1.5cm thick slices and serve as required.

At the pub we serve ours with pickled carrots, mustard seeds, and a bacon, thyme and shallot dressing.

It is also very good served with with salsa verde, cornichons and sour dough bread.

Bon appetite.