2014 is looking to be a great year for The Pheasant Inn! Not only have we undergone a January make-over, but we have also welcomed on board a new General Manager. Read on to find out more about Laura Lautrete, the latest recruit to join the Nelson Hotels family.
Tell us a little about your background
I have a bit of a mixed background! Born in Casablanca, French dad, Scouse mum and as we moved to Australia when I was 1 year old, so I actually have an Australian passport!
We moved from Melbourne to Cheshire when I was a teenager and so I spent my teens and most of my twenties in the area.
The last 15 years however were in London working a variety of restaurant roles mostly in the west end including a stint as the restaurant manager at one of Oliver Peyton’s restaurants in Mayfair. I fell into pubs around 8 years ago and really found my calling. I love the local feel of running a pub and really enjoy becoming a part of the community.
More recently I started to crave the beauty of the North West and began to harbour desires for a country life rather than the hustle and bustle of the city so here I am. I couldn’t have found a more beautiful place than Burwardsley. I literally have found my Nirvana and have happily swapped my heels for wellies!
What made you want to work in the hospitality and catering industry?
My parents had businesses in Chester. Mum ran a tea room on St Werburgh St and Dad ran the Gallery in the Grosvenor Precinct. Myself (and half of my school friends!) worked at Mum’s tea room after school and at weekends and it was there that I found my passion for customer service. I love to make people happy and being responsible for someone’s dining experience is a great way to accomplish that!
I also love meeting new people young and old and of course I love food!
What first attracted you to the role at The Pheasant Inn and a career move to Nelson Hotels?
The family feel amongst the whole of the Nelson group was definitely a huge attraction for me. Everyone so far has been so warm and welcoming. I am really looking forward to being a part of the group long into the distant future.
The Pheasant itself, well could you find a more beautiful pub?
I spent some time in all 4 of the sites and the food and service was of a really high standard. You have to be proud of the product you sell and I knew it would be easy to do that given the standards within the group.
What excites you on a menu?
I have wide varied tastes when it comes to dining out but you can’t beat a good pie.
The food always has to be freshly prepared and I do like a classic. When fish and chips is done well it can’t be beaten.
How do you enjoy spending your time outside of work?
I spend most of the time in my own kitchen. I love to cook. Currently I have been reinventing the sausage roll. Pork sausage meat, black pudding, and stuffing anyone?
Obviously I am enjoying being away from the bustling city so country walks are featuring majorly in my downtime.
I have a daughter Harley whom I’m sure all the regulars will get to know as in my spare time I am of course enjoying her company which is easy as she’s great!
If you could do anything, what would be your dream job?
I’d quite like to present my own cookery show, but really I feel like I have just started my dream job. Corny but true!
If you could invite any famous person to dine with you at The Pheasant, who would it be, why and what would you recommend from the menu?
Oh definitely Nick Youngquest the male model. For obvious reasons!
To start I’d have the bubble and squeak croquettes in the pearl barley broth – it just has so many great flavours that complement one another. Then afterwards I would have the fish and chips because it really is the best I’ve had.
Nick would of course have the beef hash cake because he is a beef cake (see what I did there?) followed by the slow braised blade of Ridings Reserve beef bourguignon because it’s a real hearty dish and is to die for!
We would then share a cheese board and Nick would feed me those lovely Cheshire cheeses whilst gazing into my eyes. Naturally there would also be wine – at least one bottle of the Chateau Lamothe 1er Cotes de Bordeaux, because you can’t beat a good claret. Sorry to be so shallow but seriously, have you seen him?