Meet Alistair Craig, our newly appointed Head Chef at Cambium. Alistair has always been enthralled by cooking and eating and with prodigious passion, his aim is to ensure that every mouthful of his dishes takes you on an exciting journey of flavour.
His dedication to cooking began when he enrolled in Northbrook Catering College where he was taught the very basics of cooking and learnt how to experiment with flavour & ingredients. It was during this time his tastes evolved and a great Chef was born.
I love eating and exploring every flavour in food; it’s a joy and it’s my passion.
Alistair’s career began at Cambium’s sister restaurant, The Terrace, at the Montagu Arms Hotel in Beaulieu. Under the wing of Head Chef and Roux Scholar, Matthew Tomkinson, he was taught by the best and was given the opportunity to work as Sous Chef.
It was a great experience and taught me how to treat ingredients with passion and care and to create my own identifiable style. I now firmly believe in the importance of developing myself, rather than trying to be someone else.
Hungry for a new challenge, he left in 2013 for The Horseshoe Inn, a small 2 AA Rosette restaurant in Scotland. Dubbed by Michelin and The Good Hotel Guide as one of Scotland’s best restaurants, his position as Head Chef gave him full responsibility for running the kitchen and creating a simple but delicious menu made up traditional Scottish dishes. After 3 years, Alistair has settled back in the beautiful New Forest at Careys Manor’s flagship restaurant, Cambium. With the natural beauty of the forest as his inspiration, he has some very exciting plans for the new menu, focusing on simplicity, quality of ingredients and exacting flavours. Alistair’s inspiration for his dishes begins with finding the best regional ingredients and fresh produce, some of which comes from our own kitchen garden. Edible flowers are used, not only to create visually beautiful dishes, but to enhance the flavour too.
Presentation is really important when creating a dish and the way the plate looks has to be equally as exceptional as the taste and flavour. I want my passion for food to shine through in every dish and for our guests to feel that too.
Alistair believes the enjoyment of food should engage all of your senses and be a journey through taste and flavour. His Beetroot and strawberry sorbet is culinary art and perfectly encapsulates summer on a plate. The beetroot juice used in this dish creates a fuschia pink sorbet and the flavour of local strawberries, delicately complemented by a sprinkling of nasturtium flowers and sprigs of mint, is a delight for all the senses.
To book a table at Cambium call 01590 623551