Meet the Head Chef
We're proud to introduce:
Sam Bowser, Head Chef.
A unique new dining experience designed to put guests at the very heart of the action has launched at Wales’s three AA rosette Llangoed Hall Hotel, under the expert eye of new head chef, Sam Bowser.
Having joined the team in December, Sam – whose previous experience includes the two Michelin-starred Le Manoir Aux Quat’Saisons in Oxford and most recently, Dormy House – is most looking forward to tying together everything the venue has to offer and putting diners, quite literally, front and centre with his new lunch offering.
Only exclusive at our kitchen pass, up to six guests will be invited into the kitchen during lunch service to engage with the team and watch them prepare – and then devour – each of the delicious dishes on the exclusive seven-course tasting menu.
Sam, who takes inspiration from previous employers Phil Howard; Gary Jones and Martin Burge, said: “What really attracted me was the location of Llangoed, the history of it, the size of it, the gardens; the whole feel of the place. I’m looking forward to creating a really enjoyable dining experience that ties the whole place together and building that all up from scratch.
“A big part of what we’re doing is about the guest journey; for people to come in and see what we’re doing, offering them a really unique experience. It’s a country house, not too large, so it’s making it feel like a home away from home. People are getting more and more knowledgeable about food and people are really mesmerised by it. Things that we think are quite simple to do, people love seeing it. There’s a real interest in it.”
The new menu maximises the use of Llangoed’s own vegetable garden – which produces the likes of cauliflower, celeriac and pumpkin – as well as its smoke house, alongside ingredients from other local producers.
Dinner service will also be available from Monday and Sunday, 18:30-20:30, with three different menus on offer; five and seven course a la carte, or a nine-course tailored tasting menu with the re-introduction of trolley service.
He said: “The garden has been one of my biggest inspirations, making the most of the produce that’s out there, like the pumpkin dish we have on the menu. Also, talking to Mandy, the head gardener, about foraging all around the area has been really inspiring too.”
Having started his career in engineering, Sam admitted his route to becoming a chef is the “standard type of answer.” He said: “My whole family are engineers, so I did that for a couple of years. I needed a job and got one as a kitchen porter and I kind of got dragged into it; they introduced me to the Michelin Guides; 1*, 2*, 3* etc.
"I've always been really selective about where I’ve worked, but the best piece of advice I’ve received is ‘don’t jump up the ranks too quickly’. You get into it because you love cooking so make the most of it. Being a sous chef or head chef, as glamorous as it sounds, you don’t get to do it as much. I became head chef at 33, but a lot of people are quite young these days."