FOURty Seconds with Jonathan Cartwright

08 Jan 2018
2 min read
FOUR catches up with Grand Chef Relais & Châteaux Jonathan Cartwright from The White Barn Inn in Maine, USA…

What is your earliest memory of being interested in food?

Eating fish and chips at Harry Ramsden’s in North Yorkshire. Also, travelling to watch the finish of the 1979 Tour de France and eating at a small 2 Michelin star restaurant off the Champs-Elysees. My father is a big foodie and he took me there to experience a good French meal.


How would you describe your culinary philosophy?

Sustainable and local products cooked with love and care.


What are three of your most indispensible ingredients?

I like lobster because of White Barn’s location in Maine. Butter because you can’t cook lobster without it and wild Maine blueberries because the flavour is amazing.


What kind of experience do you hope to give guests dining at the restaurant at White Barn Inn?

A relaxing experience where all of the guest’s needs are taken care of before they have to ask. Quality in every small detail.


What has been the proudest moment of your career so far?

There have been many as I have had the fortune to work with and alongside so many amazing people. One that stands out and set me on a path to the States was being named Employee of the Month at The Savoy Hotel, London, after my first visit to the USA for a promotion with chef Anton Edelmann.


And how about the toughest?

Having to come to work with a smile the morning after the death of the White Barn Inn’s owner, a great mentor, good friend and fantastic boss, Laurence Bongiorno.


Describe your menu and how often it changes…

The menu is a prix fixed menu with multiple choices in all four courses, each with seasonal local ingredients, cooked with love and presented with passion and flair. The menu changes weekly as we roll through the seasons with new inspirational ingredients coming into season from our farmers, foragers, fishermen and suppliers.


If you could take a plane ride to anywhere in the world just for one meal, where would you go and why?

I would go to Bourgogne to restaurant Bernard Loiseau. I love the flavours of Bourgogne in the wine, food and countryside. I think the story of the property is amazing and the continued success of the family after such tragedy is inspirational. I feel at peace there being cared for in such wonderful surroundings by such a passionate caring family of hoteliers. Both owner and team members are one big family!


The White Barn Inn, Maine, USA