Colin Bedford is the executive chef of The Fearrington House where his cuisine is an interplay of the culinary traditions of the American South, local ingredients, and his own English roots.
Colin graduated from from Yeovil College in Somerset with a diploma in hospitality. He became an apprentice in 1996 at The Castle Hotel, a Norman fortress built in the 12th century, where he worked under esteemed British chef Phil Vickery. In 2000, Bedford relocated to Canada and began working at The Prince Of Wales Hotel, a Four-Diamond CAA/AAA restaurant in Niagara-on-The-Lake, Ontario. Soon after, he was promoted to the position of Junior Sous Chef, where he gained exposure to farm-to-table cuisine and realised that, as he says, “simplicity is key to maximising flavours”.
During his career, Colin has been awarded many prestigious culinary awards. The Fearrington House earned a national ranking as one of the top hotel food destinations in the world (Condé Nast Traveler). It is also one of only two inn and restaurant combinations in the U.S. to have the Forbes Five-Star and AAA Five Diamond award for both, totalling 10 stars and 10 diamonds. In 2012, Bedford was also named a Grand Chef Relais & Châteaux.
Describe your culinary philosophy in FOUR words...
My culinary philosophy: evolving, flavors, season-driven, fun
What is your greatest inspiration?
My greatest inspiration has to be the different seasons in our region and the ingredients we get from them. That is what really defines our entire menu and culinary style.
What three things would you take on an island?
I’ve got to go with a bottle of Pappy van Winkle, my iPod (as long as it lasts) and a knife....
Your best piece of advice for amateur chefs?
Sometimes the amateur cook gets wrapped up in the preparation, cooking and probably setting the table. It is important to write an action plan the day before with a clear head so you can remember everything you have to do as you can forget things when you feel the pressure. Logistics is another simple aspect people overlook, if you have five sauce pots that need to be on the stove and you only have four burners then you have a problem. Don't be afraid to make mistakes – we do all the time! However, lots of good ideas come out of them... Remember the five key elements sweet, salty, acid, texture and most important balance...
- AAA Five Diamonds
- Grand Chef Relais & Châteaux
2000 Fearrington Village Center