Steve Lovell, Head Chef at The Church House Inn Stokenham
The Food Journey
Steve’s journey with food began at the young age of 8 when he started to collect recipes from the local paper and cook for his family. His earliest memory was when he baked his first loaf of bread to accompany his homemade chowder, a ‘magic moment’ as his recalls.
From a young boy Steve and his family were living in Australia, the home of the BBQ. He developed a passion of marinating and grilling, cooking on the BBQ for family dinners and get-togethers.
His love for food continued to grow, so when he turned 16 he went straight into a job on the pastry section at the DeVere hotel in Coventry. From there he made his way quickly up the ranks to Junior Sous Chef at DeVere Grand Harbour Hotel in Southampton at the young age of 17 and onto Head Chef at 19.
He has been the Head Chef at The Church House for nearly 3 years and stayed on with the new owners when they took over in February.
Throughout his career his biggest inspirations have been Gordon Ramsey, Marco Pierre White and of course his mum, who he used to watch creating and baking in the kitchen.
Best Things about Being a Chef
He enjoys the challenges that being a chef brings: “As a chef you’re constantly learning and there are always challenges along the way, but this also pushes you to strive even more.“
Steve loves cooking and since the new Josper oven has been installed at The Church House it has fired up his love for barbequing again! The Josper runs solely on charcoal and can reach temperatures as high as 400 degrees. It’s the perfect way to cook meat, whole fish and vegetables as it gives a lovely smoky flavour whilst keeping the ingredients succulent.
After travelling around Asia, Steve became more interested in experimenting with spices and enjoys creating Asian-infused dishes, from curries to stir-frys.
On his days off Steve’s creativity continues outside the kitchen where he enjoys playing, listening and writing music. He is also an avid darts player which helps to let off some steam.