Simplicity and no waste in The Bay Tree kitchen

Head chef Volodymyr Slobodyan at The Bay Tree

Simplicity focused on flavours, fresh produce and almost zero waste is the ethos of The Bay Tree’s head chef Volodymyr Slobodyan.

Ukrainian-born Volodymyr – known as Volod – says his first aim on coming into the kitchen of the Broadstairs restaurant and hotel was to overhaul the menu, shedding fine dining in favour of good taste combinations.

The 24-year-old, who trained at East Kent College before going to London and working with Gordon Ramsay protege Angela Harnett, said: “When I came, I changed the menu straight away. The way I believe in food is that fine dining is dead and has too much wastage. As a chef I want to make food that is simple, not over-complicated with too many flavours.

“I think about the flavour and what compliments a food.

“There is fresh prep every day and there is virtually no waste, maybe peelings and the first leaves of a cabbage and that is it.”

Bay Tree owners Alistair Dixon and Robert Stone say there is a growing trend to move away from fine dining.

Alastair said: “Marco Pierre White said he was not doing fine dining and it was about simplicity and quality agreements. Gordon Ramsay, who Pierre-White mentored, did the same and then so did his protege Angela Harnett who Volodymyr worked under so we see it as taking this into the fourth generation.”

The menu is changed monthly but generally features locally-caught fish in a nod to the restaurant’s location overlooking the sea on Eastern Esplanade.

One of Volod’s favourites is Hake on a bed of tagine with Kohlrabi – also known as the German turnip.

Volod said: “It is fillet of Hake on a tomatoey/peppery tagine with kohlrabi is like a radish slaw with olive oil and shallots, beautiful flavours.”

Ingredients, such as fish, meat and vegetables, are local produce. Beers and wines are also locally produced as are an array of Kent jams.

New offerings planned for this year including eight-course tasting menus, matched with wines, costing £70 per head plus £35 for the wines.

Alastair said: “We did this in November and it sold out almost immediately. It is a good way for people to be shown lots of new foods.”

In Summer tables will be placed in the front and, when work is completed, on the patio, extending the restaurant’s 25 cover capacity.

Sunday barbecues are planned offering Caribbean; honey, soy and miso and coriander and buttermilk chicken.

Alistair said: “We are playing with world foods, we are on the shipping line, have the sea and we have docks close by so have been influenced the idea of the world trade route.”

Dedicated afternoon tea days with themes, such as Alice in Wonderland, will also be introduced.

Find The Bay Tree at 12 Eastern Esplanade, Broadstairs, call 01843 862502 or email enquiries@baytreebroadstairs.co.uk to make a reservation.

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