Introducing our new Head Chef
Change is afoot in our restaurant. Bath is certainly renowned for its exciting culinary scene, and Homewood Park is leading the way thanks to the appointment of our new Head Chef.
Most recently an Executive Sous Chef at Careys Manor Hotel, Michael Ball is keen to bring his unique flair and ambition to Homewood’s kitchen.
With prestigious stints working at Macdonald Bath Spa Hotel, Thornbury Castle Hotel and DoubleTree by Hilton Cadbury House, his hard work and determination has culminated in a desire to create his own legacy and a truly unique vision for Homewood Park.
It might be surprising to learn in this introduction that Michael is a humble chef who is keen to better both himself and his team.
“Even though I am Head Chef, I am always looking to expand my knowledge. Cooking is something that ignites a passion – you either love it or you don’t, and when there are so many new techniques to discover you have to want to continuously learn or you will become stagnant.”
Used to working in pressured environments, the extensive experience he has gained from previous properties will be put to good use here at Homewood Park.
“I’ve developed my skills over the years, so I can offer a real finesse to the food I serve. I am a true believer about using seasonal local produce and using the best quality ingredients – I have always had a strong desire to know where food comes from.”
Guests will be sorely disappointed if they want a run of the mill lunch. Bath offers Chef Ball the opportunity to explore both his style and the local produce.
“Rather than solely keeping up with the current trends I like to showcase my sense of adventure and explore the exotics with unusual ingredients.”
His inspiration to become a chef might surprise some, given the temper of the two men. “When I was a young man the food scene was up and coming with cooking legend’s such as Marco Pierre white and Gordon Ramsey. Books like Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain were the catalyst to me knowing this was the career for me. My favourite chef would have to Sat Bain purely because I like his style and from following him for many years his ethos seems to stay the same with unique combinations and ideas.”
His humble nature is reflected further in his humble beginnings. “I started as a waiter/ kitchen porter back in a local hotel in Clevedon near Bristol. This developed in to an opportunity to progress in the kitchen, where I worked to acquire the foundations and knowledge that kick started my career. This journey helped me become the chef I am today.”
It’s clear to anyone who watches him work in the kitchen that attention to detail and the importance of consistency is key to how he creates and presents any dish.
“I like to eat food that is lighter and more contemporary, and as I have always said it’s about using seasonal local produce and using the best quality ingredients. From a culinary point of view using seasonal produce is an important part of cooking so currently I love using Yorkshire rhubarb as it’s a true seasonal treat. I also enjoy working with Skrei cod due to its firm texture and delicate flavour.”
Diners at Homewood Park can expect to see a delightful combination of dishes coming from the kitchen in future. “I am currently enjoying marrying ingredients from Asia and closer to home.” An incredible example of this is Chef’s favourite dish – confit Loch Duart Salmon with a beetroot dashi, pickled shimeji mushrooms and raw vegetables.
Not many other chefs can say that their proudest achievement is being able to go to work without it feeling like a job. The whole team at Homewood Park are excited to see what Michael creates in the kitchen.
From breakfast and lunch, to dinner and afternoon tea, Bath‘s Homewood Park offering will delight your taste buds.