Meet the chef - Joe Liptrot, Cottons Hotel and Spa, Knutsford

PUBLISHED: 00:00 10 August 2018

Joe Liptrot

Joe Liptrot


Joe Liptrot is head chef at Cottons Hotel and Spa in Knutsford. Here he tells us a little about what inspires him.

Salmon with brown shrimp and cous cous.
Credit: Hannah WebsterSalmon with brown shrimp and cous cous. Credit: Hannah Webster

Tell us a bit about yourself. When did you first get interested in cooking?

I have always been one for food, trying and experiencing new foods and dishes. This is mainly down to travelling a lot when I was younger with my parents around Europe and Asia. I like seeing and tasting different cuisines and watching how it’s done and taking that knowledge back to the kitchen I work in today.

How did you get started as a chef?

I think like most chefs, on the pot wash, or as I like to call it, ‘the engine room’, which is a very important part of the kitchen. I started at Macdonald Portal Hotel washing up. But from day one I was constantly asking if I could help out in the kitchen doing the odd jobs and that’s where it all started - and I have never looked back. It was the best feeling learning at such a high level of cooking.

What is your signature dish?

This season it’s been Pork Fillet with Baby Fondant Potatoes, Cep Puree, Trio of Baby Pickled Carrots, Ham Hock Fritters, Pancetta Crumb and Sage Jus. I think pork fillet is very under-used in the industry and when cooked right and rested it’s a lovely cut of meat.

If there was anyone in the world you could cook for, who would it be?

I’d love to cook for Marcus Waring. In my opinion he’s inspirational and good for young upcoming chefs, and still cooks daily rather than on TV shows every night. He also came up through the ranks at Gordon Ramsay’s.

What do you eat at home?

I don’t tend to eat at home on my days off, as I prefer going out to restaurants around the North West, especially Manchester. There are some great restaurants and I like to take some of the ideas back to Cottons and try them out on our daily specials.

What is the kitchen ingredient no one should be without?

Salt and pepper. I think a lot of home cooks don’t use enough seasoning as there’s a fine line between perfect and too much. It takes time as a young chef to master it but gives a completely different taste to food when used right.

If you could dine at any restaurant in the world where would it be?

Benares in Mayfair – a two Michelin-starred Indian restaurant. My favourite food to eat is Indian and I love experimenting a variety of curries on the staff at Cottons.

What would you eat for your last meal?

Indian. I love all curries, my favourite being Madras. Its great how they use the spices and the way it’s done is so simple yet takes skill to do a perfect one!

Favourite music to cook by?

Ed Sheeran - one my favourite artists.

What do you do to relax?

I go to Old Trafford a lot to watch my team - Man United, although of late it hasn’t been too relaxing! I also love being with my son and watching him grow up. | 01565 650 333

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