Brad, who has appeared on television’s Saturday Kitchen, will be demonstrating the culinary skills that earnt him his prestigious star at Ragley Food Festival in the magnificent 18th century Ragley Hall between Worcester and Stratford-upon-Avon. Set in the hall’s stunning grounds, the event falls on Father’s Day weekend and – with a barbecue, craft beers and family fun galore – is the perfect place to take to Dad on 17-18 June.
Brad Carter is chef/proprietor at Carters of Moseley, which he launched in his hometown in 2010. The restaurant was awarded a Michelin star in the Michelin Guide 2016, making it the fifth restaurant in Birmingham to receive a coveted star.
Although proud to receive this and other honours, Brad hasn’t changed his core values and enjoys getting out and about and meeting everyday foodies. As a chef who is known to be passionate about seasonal food, Brad enjoys spending time at food festivals, receiving feedback from the public and listening to what other foodies want.
“It’s a chance to showcase the restaurant to a wider market and show people how passionate we are about food. You get a real sense of discovery from a larger audience,” he says.
He is looking forward to Ragley Hall Festival due to the large number of independent traders, producers and start-ups.
“I hope to be able to discover new suppliers from the region, and maybe cook with them on stage. Our food is ALWAYS driven by the ingredients.”
Brad loves the summer months and is eager to show off what can be done with British green peas, broad beans. strawberries and raspberries.
He says: “Our soft fruit is from nearby New Farm Produce, in Lichfield. We use both ripe and ‘green’ strawberries; we use the unripe berries in savoury dishes, which we are looking at using in our demo.”
Cooking seasonally is just an everyday job to Brad.
“It will be bang on seasonal just like we do in the restaurant. Our menus are based on ‘on-the-day ingredients’ using what comes in from our suppliers, so our demo will be the same.”
Brad has recently spent time in Cornwall bonding with his kitchen team and researching seafood and produce from the area; all of the restaurant’s seafood comes from the region.
“Our team visited our mussel farmer in Foye, in Cornwall, during our spring break; we like to work as a team. I met Gaz who farms our mussels in deep sea, rather than an estuary, which is rare – he is the first to do so. It makes a huge difference to the flavour. They are the best I’ve ever had, the meat is right to the rim, and the flavour is like nothing else I’ve tried before.
“Mussels now form one of our ‘snack’ dishes on our menu with wild garlic that we have fermented from last season mixed with fresh wild garlic with wild garlic seeds. We like to experiment with flavours all the time.”
Brad’s favourite dish on the menu at the moment is Cornish turbot.
“Its just at its best now due to the tides in Cornwall. Served with our own smoked roe, Lichfield asparagus and Kent truffles, you cant get much more seasonal and British than that,” he says.
The Michelin star still counts as one of the highlights of Brad’s career, though he says it was completely unexpected.
“I never realised what it meant and how it gives an inner confidence for the team and opens doors to help push the boundaries with exciting new ingredients and methods, whilst still keeping true to our roots: the flavour. It opens so many doors beyond the kitchen. I always wanted to go on Saturday Kitchen since I was a young chef, it was a dream come true when it happened.
“I do enjoy it. I never thought I’d be on TV, or even on stage, it’s so humbling.”
Brad’s first job was straight from school at The Billesley Pub, near Moseley. He had little idea of what he wanted to do and worked as a kitchen porter. From there, he decided catering was for him. He trained at University College Birmingham then went to Menorca in Spain to a family run restaurant. He met partner Holly in a little restaurant in Shirley, near Birmingham.
“We were a great team, and we still are. We opened Carters when I was 28 and she was just 25 and now I’m 34. It gone so quick.”
For Brad, the overall experience of eating out paramount at Carters. He explains:
“Because we offer an eight-course tasting menu, the whole experience is our signature, is our ethos. everything we do is our own, created by the whole team, the dish is just part of the customer’s journey.
“Total submersion in what we do. Everything, right through to our wines, desserts and coffee exactly reflect the menu being all natural. We strive to end the customer experience with a real wow – including coffee like they have never tasted; leaving with a real memory of our ethos and passion for purity of flavour.”
Despite owning his own top restaurant and becoming a familiar face on the small screen, Brad is adamant that youngsters should not go into cheffing for the fame or fortune.
“The only tip I will give to aspiring chefs is don’t think you can run a restaurant before you learn the basics. You don’t need to spend money on fancy kit like knives to be a good chef. It’s important to nurture young talent and help them through the hard times and encourage the good points, to give them inner confidence. Go to a good college and a kitchen you like. Cheffing isn’t for money, it’s more a lifestyle choice. the money comes through hard work and good business. Go into it with your eyes and ears open.”
As for Carters, things are always changing but Brad is keeping any future plans (including a possible wedding) close to his chest.
“Our reputation is big for a small place so we are always looking at other opportunities to make the best of the space we have. So all I can say is: ‘Watch this space’.”
Brad will be appearing on stage at Ragley Food Festival Sunday June 18th. For more information go to www.fantasticbritishfoodfestivals.com
To find out more about Carters including exclusive Recipes from Brad visit here
eXclusive GourmetXperience with Chef Brad and team
To discover exactly what makes Carters so special, you can experience the hustle and bustle and exquisite flavours of the kitchen on a unique Michelin eXperience hosted by Brad Carter at his eponymous Birmingham restaurant. The experience includes an arrival glass of English sparkling wine, five or seven-dish tasting menu and the chance to cook up an award-winning dessert under the supervision of this inspirational chef. Ideal gift or treat for gourmands, or dad for Father’s Day!
Brad features in Signature Chefs Recipe Book, Heart of England & Wales alongside 75 of the Greatest British chefs, including all 5 Michelin Stars in Birmingham. Totalling 15 Stars in the book. Purchase Here
Interview (c) Signature Chefs 2017