Our head chef Adrian Gagea gives some insight into his experience, inspirations and our direction of our food & menu influences
I was born in Romania, in a small city, very similar to Grindleford. The Hope valley and Peak District area, I really love because it reminds me of home.
I have a sports degree, so I didn’t dream to be a chef when I was young, I was aspiring to be a professional volleyball player. Volleyball was my life for 16 years or so. I played for my local team and won three national championships, we also won the Balkan championships twice, once with the national team and once with my club team and many other accolades.
Before deciding to quit volleyball career I decided to start a cookery school. A few months later I was already working in a professional kitchen. I realised how much I love this job, how much joy it’s bringing to me and to the guests who are coming to eat our food. In many ways working in a kitchen is similar to playing sports. With kitchen work and any type of sports, both are team based, both are meant to bring joy and satisfaction for the public/guests; both need a good coach/head chef to take the team to success. I changed my career but it’s still having the same purpose, to bring joy, happiness and to get people together.
As a chef I worked few years at Raymond Blanc restaurants, then in Romania in Cluj-Napoca at Chios social Lunge, Livada, Sungarden Golf and Spa Resort and La Mesteceni then I came to England and start working at The Farmhouse at Mackworth, where I met Rob Hattersley, general manager at the time. We had good times working together and we share the same view about food, so when he said he was leaving to start a new venture, I decided to join him on this challenge.
A good team is based on friendship, honesty and having the same goal, based on this a few others followed Rob Hattersley and myself in our new adventure.
Enjoying More at The Maynard
The menu is a variety of new and classic dishes with a little twist. We have great options for people with different allergens, for vegetarians, vegans and kids.
The menu is changes every season, we are proud to say we use only fresh ingredients from our local suppliers, we believe in the community and our neighbours who supply us with the best premium quality ingredients every morning.
I try to make all my menus as healthy as possible, keeping all the flavours and suitable for everyone. Of course this does not apply to all the dishes, we all need a bit of indulgence form time to time. We also offer premium burgers with home-made triple cooked chips, or New Close Farm award winning sausage & mash with lots of gravy from time to time, but when is time for salad we have the best options.
As chef you need inspiration and that can come from memories, places, peoples, books, tv-shows or many others. My inspiration or the reason behind each dish are the people, so for example I think about my grandma and I remember her making the best polenta ever. I think about my wife, she really likes fish and then I have fish and chips in mind; but wait, we have Rob, he is allergic to gluten so how to make fish and chips available for everyone… and like that came to the menu my crispy monkfish with lime and coriander polenta chips, minty crushed peas and homemade tartar sauce, This is one of my favourite dishes
If you choose The Maynard, you can enjoy each day with us, we have great dishes for each day and each celebration year on year, even if is a Monday evening and you are here for our delicious curry or a Wednesday evening for a steak, a quick sandwich for lunch, a wedding, afternoon tea, or Sunday roast, we have it all.