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Our Featured Chef
Martin Henley - Head Chef at Cedar Court Grand Hotel & Spa in York

You might say that Martin Henley has had a very ‘Yorkshire’ culinary education.

He began his career at Bettys Bakery, working during half terms in the Fancy Room where he learnt how Bettys make their legendary chocolates and cakes. Inspired by the experience, he progressed rapidly to become Kitchen Supervisor at the tender age of 17.

He moved to Rudding Park to continue his training, working under the tutelage of David Parker and Russell Pearce, and spent five years with them before moving across to Cedar Court Hotels.

He’s now been with Cedar Court, Yorkshire’s largest independent hotel collection, for twelve years. He was Head Chef at both the Harrogate and Huddersfield properties, but The Grand in York is a very different proposition and a very exciting challenge for him.

"We’ve thought very hard about the two restaurants at The Grand. HQ is classic fine dining, representing the highest of culinary standards that you would expect from a five-star hotel. Hudson’s, whilst still high quality, offers dishes that most people will be familiar and comfortable with – but with extra flair and a twist!"

And Martin is keen to remind people that HQ and Hudson’s aren’t just for guests.

"Anyone can come and dine at The Grand. We’re a five star hotel but we’re not just here for residents. The two restaurants have two very different styles: HQ is us really showing off what we can do in the kitchen; Hudson’s is about relaxing with friends and family and great food."


Martin’s featured recipe is smoked fillet of beef, puffed pastry, shallot, pease pudding and Guinness jus.

Ingredients and method

Smoked fillet
Using oak smoking chip’s fill the bottom of a tray with chip’s place over heat till they start smoking, Place beef fillet on a cooling rack then place over the smoking chip’s, cover with foil and turn down the heat, leave until the outside of the meat is smoked, if the smoke stops place over heat to restart, Once smoked rinse, dry and roll in cling film loose, sous vide for an hour at 54 degrees (c), once done refresh and blast chill, once chilled re cling film tight, leave over night, top and tail it then divide in to quarters and vak pak.

Shallot puree
Roast shallot’s off with olive oil, garlic, thyme, then wrapped in foil until soft, peel skin off and remove root’s, puree in thermo coup at 70 degrees (c) high speed for 20min, then pass off through drum sieve.

Guinness jus
Reduce 2 can by 3 quarters, add 50g sugar and the same amount of stock as liquid then bring to the boil.

Puffed pastry lattice
Using a lattice cutter score the puffed pastry then open it out, brush with egg yolks and sprinkle with rock salt and cracked black pepper. Place on a tray with silicon paper and then cover with silicon paper and another tray, cook for 8min.

To finish
Place fillet into souse vide for approximately 20 min
Heat jus, puree, pie lid’s, mash potato, Pease pudding, 3 roasted shallot’s
Fry off the foie gras remove the smoked fillet from the bath remove bag and cling film, season then seal off in the pan with the foie gras, garlic, thyme and butter.
Pour a small pool of shallot puree on the plate, cover with first puffed pastry lattice, place fillet of beef on lattice, Pease pudding, foie gras then second puffed pastry lattice, pipe 3 blobs of mashed potato around the pie and garnish with roasted shallots and herbs, pour the Guinness jus into a glass jug (normal will do but glass look’s better) top with lightly whipped cream.


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