We get up close and personal with Head Chef Ramneek Chugh at Macdonald Berystede Hotel & Spa
Macdonald Berystede Hotel & Spa in Ascot is a beautiful hotel near Windsor in Berkshire, which is surrounded by amazing landscaped gardens. With plenty of adventures to be had in the royal county, a good night’s rest and great food is integral. We caught up with head chef Ramneek Chugh to tell us about the newly refurbished Acanthus restaurant and what makes him so passionate about food.
LM: It’s fantastic news that Acanthus restaurant has re-opened after a refurbishment. Tell us, how different does it look from before?
RC: The restaurant has undergone a complete re-brand, which saw it transformed from the traditional Hyperion to the more stylish Acanthus Restaurant. A key feature is a striking ornamental tree which is the centrepiece of the space and was created by a local artist from fallen branches. It is a fantastic piece and we replace the leaves every few months to represent the changing seasons, so the restaurant continuously has a different feel to it to reflect the time of year.
LM: What kind of diner does the restaurant appeal to?
RC: The menu here is very diverse and has been crafted specifically to appeal to a range of tastes. We have paired high-end dishes with creature comforts, so guests will find everything from Cornish Oysters, to Venison Terrine and the famous Macdonald Hotels & Resorts’ fish pie. The Acanthus Restaurant also offers a variety of eatery experiences, including a cosy snug area, perfect for private dining, and an outdoor terrace for the summer months.
LM: That all sounds so delicious. Do tell us more about some of the other dishes that are available on the current menu.
RC: To start, there is a range of dishes from Cullen Skink, to Gressingham Duck Ham served with artichoke veloute, as well as gratinated Orkney King Scallops, served with mushroom duxelle, white wine sauce and Gruyere cheese, to John Ross Jr hot Smoked Salmon Free Range Poached Eggs and an Artisan Bread Selection.
For the mains, we serve everything from classic fresh Haddock and Hand-Cut Chips and Slow-cooked Highland Venison Stew with shallots, pancetta, rich red wine jus, buttered potatoes and seasonal vegetables to Devon Crab Linguini, with chilli banana shallots and brown crab mayonnaise.
LM: When sourcing products, what do you look for? Are they local?
RC: At Macdonald Hotels & Resorts, it is our policy to always source the freshest produce, and wherever possible, we will do our best to make sure they are local too. While many hotel groups opt for frozen or pre-prepared meals, at Acanthus we use raw, seasonal ingredients to emphasise flavours. The kitchens are also stocked with only free-range chicken and the freshest wild fish caught from sustainable sources in British waters. If you can get fresh ingredients, then the food will just taste so much nicer, and we want that experience for our diners.