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#Communityhero: Mike Wallace, Chef at Belle Vue, Hampstead

11 May 2020

Mike

Community spirit is more important now than ever. There are many people up and down the country working hard to support the communities in which they live and work and as our developments are their own communities we wanted to champion some of the fantastic team who have gone above and beyond during the Covid-19 pandemic.  

Meet Mike, the Chef at Belle Vue in Hampstead who made the decision to move into the development during lockdown to ensure he was able to provide the owners with tasty and nutritious food.  

What made you decide to isolate at the development with the owners?  

It took me a couple of days to make the decision to not see my children for two or three months, I was travelling to and from London back home to Tunbridge Wells so was worried about contracting the virus and trying to keep my children safe. Ultimately, I decided it would be better if I moved into Belle Vue to look after the owners, if I am not sick, I can make a difference and help to ensure the owners are healthy and safe. 

How has your day to day role changed and adapted?  

It has actually been great for me to get to know the owners on a more personal level and I am enjoying producing food in a more laid-back environment. I can also take more time to source and cook up tasty and nutritious food.  

I cook breakfast, lunch, dinner, and pudding options daily for the owners to enjoy. I have adapted my menu to suit a more day to day eating experience to help minimise the need for owners to go shopping. As part of my ordering of supplies I am also able to order owners fruit, vegetables, milk, eggs, and other simple things through my suppliers so they have their own selection of food too without the need to go out to the shops.  

I work six days out of seven and make sure when it’s my day off the fridge is stocked with sandwiches, desserts and fruit, and soup for the owners to enjoy. 

What kind of things have you been cooking up? 

I do a typical London breakfast option of toasted sourdough, crushed avocado, coriander mint and chilli with poached eggs and crispy bacon or there is the option of a full English, porridge, and granola.  

For lunch I have simplified things a little but there is always a variety of soups available which are extremely popular with the owners – I have probably made about 50 litres of soup in the past two months! A particular favourite is the roasted cauliflower soup with toasted almonds and truffle oil – I make it a bit more exotic with a crispy flatbread.  

There is always a choice of two mains for lunch and dinner such as a classic haddock and chips with homemade batter and hand cut chips and pork loin stuffed with black pudding wrapped in pancetta with a vanilla mash and apple compote or a tasty chilli con carne.  

I also make chocolate brownies often as these are extremely popular! 

It has all been extremely well received so far and I know the owners appreciate it and that is the only thing that is important to me.  

Can you tell us a little about your background?  

I’ve got a Michelin Star and Rosette awarded restaurant background which is great to have, I would class myself as a gastro chef. I’ve been a chef for twenty years now after starting out in catering as a teenager. I’ve worked in some fantastic restaurants in Tunbridge Wells including the Hotel Du Vin and The Mount Edgcumbe Hotel. I’ve also had the pleasure of working with Angela Hartnett and John Burton-Race. 

A little while ago I wanted to come out of the kitchen to try something different so became a General Manager at another PegasusLife development, I ended up helping out the Chef there with some canapes and he asked me what I was doing out of the kitchen! So after re-entering the kitchen in Cheltenham at the One Bayshill Road development, I settled here at Belle Vue doing what I love most!  

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Following the Government’s advice, PegasusLife has closed all sales offices and developments to visitors and viewings. However, continue to welcome conversations through virtual appointments: 0800 975 0170 or email [email protected]