Darrin Hosegrove

Darrin Hosegrove is chef director of the Ashburton Cookery School and Chefs Academy, in Devon. After studying at Exeter College, Darrin began his career at Gidleigh Park Hotel working under the guidance of Michelin-starred chef Shaun Hill. He has worked in many acclaimed fine dining restaurants in the UK and held positions as a college lecturer and development chef before joining the Ashburton Cookery School in 2004.

As well as regularly teaching at the school, Darrin also oversees the development of new courses, recipes and menus at the cook school and Chef’s Academy.

The award-winning cookery school has been running for 20 years offering courses to amateur cooks of all ability. Darrin was responsible for launching the Ashburton Chefs Academy which has now become a professional accredited training centre teaching culinary diploma’s in cuisine and patisserie to an advanced level.

He was also instrumental in the development of the annual Ashburton Food & Drink Festival, which takes place in September.

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Poached Duck Egg

By chef Darrin Hosegrove


To make the butternut squash purée, drizzle the olive oil over the squash and sprinkle over half of the garlic and thyme leaves and season to taste. Place a square of baking parchment paper on top of a large tin foil square. Put the squash on top of the baking parchment and wrap the foil around to make a sealed bag. Place the squash in a pre-heated oven at 200°C for 45-60 minutes until soft. Scoop out the flesh from the squash and blend in a food processor with the remaining garlic and thyme. Season to taste and set aside.

Cook the peas in salted, boiling water until tender with a slight bite. Remove any skin from outside of the chorizo and cut into small dice. Heat the butter over a medium heat and add the chorizo. Cook until lightly coloured, add the peas, seasoning and garnishing with the finely shredded mint just before serving.

Brush the baguette for the croute on both sides with olive oil. Bake the bread for approximately eight to ten minutes at 200°C until golden and crispy.

Bring a saucepan with at least 10cm of water to the boil; turn down to a rapid simmer and add a little white wine vinegar. Crack each duck egg into a ramekin, making sure the yolk is not broken, and carefully add to simmering water. Poach for three minutes until the white is firm but the yolk is still runny. Remove the egg and trim any excess white.

To assemble the dish, spoon a tablespoon of butternut squash purée on to one corner of the plate. Place the back of the spoon into the purée and drag it diagonally across the plate in a steady motion. Repeat on the other side of the plate, so that the lines cross. Place the croute on top of the purée and the poached duck egg on top of the croute. Scatter the chorizo and peas around the plate. Finish the plate with edible flowers, leaves or pea shoots and add a few drops of aged balsamic vinegar. Serve immediately.

Ashburton Cookery School, Devon

This recipe is featured in our book Signature Chefs South West & Channel Islands. Click here for more information

Ingredients for two servings:

Butternut Squash Purée

  • 1⁄2 A Medium-Sized Butternut Squash, Cut Lengthways
  • 20Ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Garlic Clove, Crushed
  • 1 Sprig Of Thyme
  • Salt & Pepper, To Taste

Peas & Chorizo

  • 100G Peas, Shelled
  • 20G Chorizo Sausage
  • 10G Butter
  • 8 Medium-Sized Mint Leaves, Finely Shredded
  • Salt & Pepper, To Taste

Croute (ACC)

  • 2 Slices Of White Baguette, Approx. 1Cm Thick
  • 2 Tbsp. Olive Oil

Poached Duck Eggs

  • A Dash Of White Wine Vinegar
  • 2 Medium, Free-Range Duck Eggs, Room Temperature


  • Edible Flowers, Leaves Or Pea Shoots, As Needed
  • Aged Balsamic Vinegar, To Taste

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