Ian Bates has been cooking for 30 years. During his extensive career, Ian has worked at the Restaurant Michel Guerard in France (holder of 3 Michelin stars), Bibendum, The Chiswick (his first Head Chef’s job and Time Out magazine’s best modern British restaurant in 1997), Chez Bruce in London and Stephen Markwick’s in Bristol. As chef and proprietor at The Old Spot in Wells, Somerset, Ian was awarded a Michelin Bib Gourmand every year for 10 years.
During his 5 year stint at Bibendum in London, Ian worked alongside Simon Hopkinson, who became the biggest influence on his career. The ethos of serving food that really concentrated on flavour and top quality ingredients was, in the early 1990s, groundbreaking. The menu was seasonal and market driven – factors that have remained of key importance to Ian throughout his career.
The kitchen at Bibendum produced an array of incredible chefs. Ian worked alongside a multitude of talented individuals who would go on to be the next generation of top chefs. People such as Philip Howard (who went on to The Square), Bruce Poole (Chez Bruce) and Jeremy Lee (Quo Vadis).
The natural world and the seasons are reflected in Ian’s food. His mantra is, “Ingredients that grow together, go together” as they have a natural affinity with each other. This also applies to the geographical provenance of ingredients. (In Somerset the obvious example is apples and the cider which is made from them.) Ian believes that simple is best – ‘classics’ are classic for a reason!
Ian’s cooking at The Cross reflects this ethos. He serves uncomplicated dishes – food that he loves to eat himself – in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere. The food encapsulates all that he has learned over the past 30 years. It is simple, delicious food, cooked with the care and attention that it deserves.