What’s Cooking – Luke Garnsworthy, Crockers
Crockers (Tring & Henley) are some of our fav high-end local restaurants. We chat to founder, Luke Garnsworthy, about Marcus Wareing, kitchen gadgets and cooking for Bruce Willis.
Your first job in a kitchen?
Peeling potatoes aged about eight in my Dad’s restaurant, the original Crockers. And my first actual paid job was working for Michael Caines in Exeter.
What is your career highlight?
Opening my own business in 2016 in Potten End.
Sum up your food philosophy?
It’s got to be tasty! Seasonal is good but taste is all important.
Most memorable moment at work?
Finishing a 70+ hour week in London during the olympics and realising this industry I love so much needs to change – which led to me opening Crockers. Or, maybe being glared at by Marcus Wareing in the kitchen at The Gilbert Scott.
Ever cooked for anyone famous?
Yes loads – Rick Stein, Paul Ainsworth, Woody Harrelson and Bruce Willis, to name just a few.
What’s been your biggest mistake at work?
Thinking you know it all.
You’re tired, starving and impatient: what do you cook for dinner?
Risotto for comfort and steak, egg and peas for any other time.
What would you cook to impress a date?
Their favourite food, but cooked properly. Or steak.
Ashley Palmer Watts.
Eleven Madison Park.
Favourite type of cuisine?
All of them?! But, if you’re pushing me for one it would have to be grill (steak again).
Favourite kitchen gadget?
Favourite local hotspots?
Espresso lounge in Tring, and I’m yet to find one in Henley.
Favourite local markets and suppliers?
Unfortunately, we don’t use markets much. I love the Friday market in Tring though. And then there’s Tring Brewery and Puddingstone Distillery in Tring, Rebellion Brewery and Nettlebed Creamery in Henley.
Favourite things to eat when you’re on holiday?
The local cuisine. I had the best meal of my life down a back alley in Rome.
What mistake do inexperienced cooks tend to make?
Thinking they know it all and thinking it’s like Master Chef. That show has a lot to answer for.
Favourite ingredient and why?
Beef rib, either a joint or steak. It’s locked full of fat and flavour and when cooked properly is absolute heaven!!
Most overrated ingredient?
Gold leaf, tastes of nothing and just costs too much.
The dish you’re most proud of creating?
When I was young I used to make cheesy dumplings for my dad in his restaurant. Stale garlic bread was mixed with cheese and eggs and then rolled and deep fried. I recreated it with an ooozing cheese sauce centre.
Tell us your best ever cooking tip?
Preparation is key. Always plan ahead to make the cooking dinner a bit easier.
Three dishes every home cook should master?
Steak, chips and bearnaise sauce (obviously), risotto, and a good chilli.
Loads of us are really bored of our own cooking right now – any advice?
Bang some spices into the mix and get excited. Take your usual boring cooking and spice it up a bit. Or, come and eat with us in Tring and Henley!