We’re pleased to introduce Aaron Strothard, Head Chef at The Fable Restaurant, at Santhem Residences Shenfield. 

How did you start your food journey?

As a child, I was surrounded by family who enjoyed cooking and I frequently got involved with meal preparation to help out my parents. I soon found that I enjoyed being able to produce something which my family enjoyed eating. After excelling in my Food Tech class at school, I gained the confidence to pursue a career as a professional chef.

Aged fourteen, I chose to take my work experience at ‘The Paris’, a fine dining French Restaurant. One vivid memory I have of this experience, was learning how to prepare fresh crab.

After I completed college, I worked as a trainee Pastry Chef. After completing my Patisserie qualification, I decided to return to the restaurant kitchen environment which I had previously enjoyed so much.

Have you ever worked overseas?

After several years of working in a variety of restaurants, I had the opportunity to work at my aunt’s restaurant on a remote Greek Island. Led by two highly experienced Italian chefs, this is when I truly found my passion for becoming a head chef and running my own kitchen.

After a season in Greece, I returned to the UK and fulfilled my ambition to become Head Chef. I remained in this position for nine years, developing myself and the team around me.  After the pandemic, I craved a new challenge and this is when I found my dream role within Santhem Residences, at The Fable restaurant….. and the rest, as they say, is history.

Who is in your team at The Fable?

You have myself acting as Head Chef and Thomas as my experienced Sous Chef from a well-established local fish restaurant. He brings a mass of knowledge, specialising in fresh fish and seafood…….and many happy laughs in the kitchen. Angela is my wonderful kitchen assistant, whom I have worked with for the last seven years. She creates some amazing cakes and desserts as well as getting involved in running lunch and dinner services. You will usually find her chatting to residents in the lounge at Santhem.

How do you decide on the menu?

The whole team have input on the menus at Santhem. Initially sourcing seasonal and sustainable produce. We then factor in nutritional content along with a healthy balanced diet. From there we trial, develop and experiment with ingredients until we have a dish that I am happy with. We then need to factor in allergies and dietary requirements. Our monthly menu change ensures that we are using seasonal, local and sustainable products.

Any cooking tips for residents?

As my partner always says, “Why cook when someone can do it better for you!”.

What is your vision for The Fable?

I envisage creating comforting dishes the residents are familiar with whilst incorporating a modern twist. I also hope to continue to introduce some new foods and dishes that some may be unfamiliar with, but may become new favourites.