Suzi Williams is head chef and owner of the Vine Tree in Randwick.

We asked Suzi a few questions about her life and job at The Vine Tree:

What is the name and location of your restaurant

The Vine Tree, Randwick

What is your job title?

Head Chef/ Owner

What inspired you to become a chef?

I worked in The Olive Tree in nailsworth at the age of 15/16 just after it was taken over from its previous owners “carmellas” as a waitress and was one day asked to help the chef in the kitchen and it became apparent I had a natural flair for cooking. Although my parents would say that it was obvious from the age of about 4 years baking bread!

What was the first meal you cooked for someone else?

I cooked a dinner party for mine and my brothers friends at around 17 years old and loved the whole process, we had fajitas!

Tell us a bit about your career so far...

So after catering college I worked for a short time at “The Ram” in woodchester then moved on to Williams Kitchen in Nailsworth working for William Beeston, I worked on the fish counter quickly learning all the prep techniques for different fish and then when the oyster bar was opened I help William cook for the customers in which time I learnt a huge amount . I then went travelling and gained further knowledge working for a New Zealand chef who was French trained. Further expanding my knowledge. When I returned I spent some time out of the kitchen then applied for the head chef role at The Old Badger , Eastington which went on to be a extremely popular destination for both the food I was cooking and the great selection of drinks, atmosphere and welcome. After around 8 years I move to The Old Fox in Coaley. Once again building an excellent reputation for food there also.

What is your proudest career moment to date?

Two points really. Winning The Cotswold Life Best Pub award with the team at The Old Fox and also completing on the purchase of The Vine Tree and becoming my own boss!

What is your signature dish?

I would say any of my fish cookery is my signature, I love to cook everything and struggle to pick a signature dish but I believe my fish cookery is my signature as it goes down so well with the customers.

What is your favourite dish currently on your menu?

We change our menu weekly so that is a hard question! I really like the salmon fishcake with whipped cod roe and a poached Cotswold white egg. Served with a fresh parsley sauce and braised leeks is really pretty and extremely tasty.

What is your favourite place to eat in Gloucestershire and why?

I really enjoy the burgers at beefy boys in Cheltenham they are excellent, I enjoyed the fish platters at the corner house in Stroud and the Sunday lunch at The Ship, Brimscombe

What is your favourite meal to eat at home?

I like to make fajitas for my children and eat them together, sharing grilled chicken or steak with Halloumi and lots of fresh salad and sauces. It’s one of our favourite meals as it’s very social

What do you like to drink with dinner?

Depending on what we’re having a nice glass of white wine, we have a lovely Percheron that I’m enjoying at the moment. But if we’re having pork for example a locally made cider is the go to.

What is your culinary guilty pleasure?

Fried Squid!

Which key ingredient is always in your fridge?

Garlic! I love garlic

What is your favourite local ingredient or delicacy?

I love when the wild garlic is out filling the woodland because it makes garlic butter so much better and wild garlic can be used in so many different dishes. I also like it when the heritage tomatoes come in as they taste great and the colours just make any salad look amazing

Which chef do you most admire and why?

I admire Angela Hartnett as i met her when i did a trial at one of Gordon Ramseys restaurants in London and she was very kind even when under extreme pressure and she has gone on to be extremely successful in her own businesses.

What's your career ambition?

Just to run a Business that is able to sustain my family and staff which our customers recommend to their friends as the place to go for consistently delicious food in a pub setting with the most welcoming staff.

What do you think will be the next big restaurant trend?

Totally Gluten free kitchens, restaurant that served nothing that contains gluten in food or drinks

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