Chef Kuba Winkowski on the rise of the Feathered Nest in Nether Westcote

Originally from Poland, I travelled widely before settling in the UK where I attended catering college in Kent before completing my apprenticeship at Le Manoir Aux Quat’ Saisons.

Here I undertook extensive classical training in all sections in the Michelin-starred establishment giving me an excellent foundation for my cooking, combined with influences from France, Italy, Asia and my homeland Poland.

In 2010, I moved to The Feathered Nest at Nether Westcote taking up the position of sous chef and was promoted to head chef in 2012. The property was originally an old Malthouse and it has been completely refurbished by Tony and Amanda Timmer who have created an atmospheric country restaurant and guest house. The village where the Feathered Nest is situated is truly stunning and I love the wide open space and views from the back terrace. In fact I love everything that goes with working here: the produce, farmers, fresh air and foraging.

Over the past six years, we have worked hard to make the restaurant what it is today. I have developed the menus and taken The Feathered Nest from a bistro pub to a renowned 3 AA Rosette fine dining restaurant with a reputation for excellence. My long term ambition however is to build our customer base. We put a lot of hard labour into what we do every day and I would like to build our reputation nationally. Appearing with James Martin on ITV’s Saturday Morning show certainly helped get the word out.

There are a lot of good restaurants around. However, I believe that our cured and smoked produce, which has taken a considerable time to perfect, offers something different. I spent many years developing my technique to create a range of quality cured, aged, dried and smoked produce including salamis, lardo, hams, smoked salmon and haddock. Our cultured butter and in-house bread is another source of pride.

I source many of the ingredients we use from local suppliers and growers such as Alan Cox in Lower Oddington where I get the finest asparagus and the sweetest soft fruit. The cream used for our butter comes from Holmleigh Dairy in Donnington and the wild boar from the Forest of Dean.

I like to cook what people want to eat so we have 10 savoury dishes and five desserts on our menu, or a three-course set lunch. We also offer Sunday lunch and when the weather is warm, a garden terrace.

In June, I shall be showcasing what is on offer at The Feathered Nest when I appear at the Chef’s Kitchen at the Cheltenham Food and Drink Festival on Sunday 17. I am really looking forward to showing people what we have on offer in our restaurant and I love meeting people who share the same love of food.

The Feathered Nest, Nether Westcote. OX7 6SD

Cheltenham Food and Drink Festival, June 15-17