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The Barn at Moor Hall will reopen for outdoor dining on Tuesday 13th April, and indoor dining on Tuesday 18th May. Moor Hall Restaurant with Rooms will reopen on Wednesday 19th May.

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Moor Hall Meets

James Lovatt, Head Chef at Moor Hall

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21 Aug 2020

Talk us through a typical day for you.

I start the day by checking the deliveries to make sure they meet the standard we require. I then go to each section to check they are on track for the day and look at any menu changes or dish development. At 11am, I go through all the tasting plates for each section to check for consistency and seasoning. During service, I run the pass with Mark (Birchall) checking all the plates that go out into the restaurant and helping to ensure the service goes smoothly. After lunch we all clean down, enjoy a staff meal together and get ready for the evening service. At the end of every day the kitchen has a team meeting to discuss the next day’s covers and dietary requirements along with any menu changes in the up and coming weeks.

How did you first get into cooking?

As a child I was always interested in food and loved to help with the cooking. I have lots of memories relating to food like foraging for blackberries to make crumble or cooking over an open fire with my family whilst on holiday in the south of France. I think this sparked my interest and I realised from a young age I wanted to be a chef.

What are your top three highlights from your career to date?

My first highlight was getting the number 1 spot in the Good Food Guide whilst working at L’Enclume. To be part of the team at L’Enclume was great and I have very fond memories of my time there.

Another highlight would be when we received the second Michelin star at Moor Hall in 2018. After only been open 18 months this felt like an incredible achievement and was testament to the talented team we had.

Finally, being awarded the number 1 spot in the National Restaurant Awards in 2019. I have been part of Moor Hall since day one and seen it go from strength to strength…getting this award made all the hard work feel worthwhile.

What’s your favourite dish of the moment & why?

My favourite dish of the moment would be wild seabass with courgette, mussel, sea herbs and a sauce made from mullet and langoustine. We are very lucky at Moor Hall to be able to source so many ingredients from the local area. We have amazing courgettes grown in the garden and the beach in Southport offers so many varieties of sea herbs.

This dish sums up Moor Hall on a plate. The blow torched bass compliments the courgettes really well and the sauce combined with the seaweed oil finishes the dish off really well.

Top reasons to visit Moor Hall?

For me it’s the whole experience. Seasonal food cooked with passion, attentive friendly service and beautiful surroundings.

Best thing about working here?

I would say it’s the overall package. Moor Hall is a very special place. You have a kitchen that is overlooking a beautiful garden on one side and a lake on the other. We have amazing hand made charcuterie, a small micro dairy for making cheese and a meat ageing room.

Favourite way to spend your day off?

On my days off I like to get up early and get out on my road bike around Formby. In the afternoons I relax or do a bit of gardening then cook a nice meal for when my wife gets home from work.

If you weren’t a chef, what would you be?

It would have to be something active or outdoors. I don’t think I could sit still long enough to work behind a desk!

Want to work with James and his team? We are looking for passionate and talented people to join our family across Moor Hall Restaurant with Rooms and The Barn at Moor Hall.

> Click here to apply online today


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