and the eating is easy… with team Mulberry’s simple salmon supper.
After leaving secondary school in 1992, where he candidly confesses to being “probably one of the naughtier kids in class,” Richard Sommer reveals he was inspired to enrol on a catering course at Deeside College after watching the likes of bad boy chefs Marco Pierre White and Keith Floyd on culinary TV programmes.
“I wasn’t particularly suited to academia at that time, but I was fascinated by cooking. Catering college seemed the best option. I soon found I had a flair for breads and positioned myself more towards the hot side,” he recalls. “It wasn’t long before it dawned on me that in order to progress my career I needed to venture out of my comfort zone and work every area of the kitchen. I was in danger of becoming a one trick pony,” he says with disarming honesty. “I didn’t want to be that sort of chef.”
Richard reveals that during his early career he worked in some restaurant kitchens which would quite happily sacrifice quality for quantity. “I knew I couldn’t stick around in those kitchens for long,” he says with a shake of the head. A developing passion for culinary excellence grew into a determination never, ever to compromise… occasionally pitching Richard at odds with his employers.
“I have pride in what I do. I always want to keep up that quality and never cheat myself because as soon as you say ‘that will do’ or ‘I hope they don’t notice’, you’re no longer staying true to your own standards.”
This commitment to quality has sometimes landed him in hot water. “I’m all about flavour, and to get that you need the best ingredients. Some previous restaurant owners I worked for just didn’t get that.” Trip Advisor has been a game changer according to Richard. “It means you need to be at your best at all times. That’s fine by me.”
Richard and his talented kitchen team at the Mulberry Inn – Matt and Wyn – deliver mouth-watering, beautifully presented fare that can be enjoyed in the Mulberry’s large and comfortable restaurant using, as you would expect, locally sourced quality ingredients. Discerning diners will be pleased to note the presence of crisp, white linen napkins – another Richard touch.
Dog owners are welcome to dine with their pooches in the bar area or in the Berwyn Room adjacent to the restaurant, which looks out onto the garden.
Pan Roasted Wild Salmon with Wild Garlic Risotto & Lemon Dressing
- 6oz skinless salmon fillet
- Small bunch of wild garlic
- 150g Arborio rice
- 1 vegetable stock cube
- 50g butter (salted)
- 2tbs olive oil
- Zest & juice of 1 lemon
- 50ml double cream
- 2 shallots
- Pea shoots (optional)
- Finely dice and, using 25g butter, sweat the shallots in a medium heat pan until translucent
- Add the arborio rice to the pan and continue saute for 3 minutes
- Using the veg stock cube, make a litre of stock with boiling water
- Add stock a ladle at a time to the risotto stirring constantly for 15-20 minutes until all stock is absorbed and the rice is dense and creamy
- Finely shred wild garlic leaves and fold through the cooked risotto – the residual heat of the risotto will cook the garlic leaves
- Fold in 50ml double cream to the risotto to enrich
- In another medium heat pan, place the salmon fillet on a piece of parchment and cook for 5 minutes either side
- Add 25g of butter to the pan and baste the salmon with the melted butter
- In a bowl, whisk the olive oil with the juice and zest of a lemon and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Place the risotto in the base of a bowl with the salmon fillet placed on top
- Drizzle with the lemon dressing over the top
- Garnish with a bunch of pea shoots (optional).
Quick Fire Questions…
Top Tip… “Always buy the best quality ingredients you can get for your budget – it makes all the difference”
Describe yourself as a dish… “Something a bit mellow… but with a spicy edge”
Top kitchen tune… “Bridge over Trouble Water – I love it… Oh, and Baba O’Reilly by The Who”
Traditional plate or Hipster slate? “I prefer traditional, so it has to be a nice big white plate”
Quenell or piping? “Quenell without doubt… my quenell spoon is my go to kitchen accessory”
The Mulberry Inn