AN AWARD winning chef who has graced the kitchens at some of North Wales’ best hotels has lifted the lid on his success.

Jimmy Davison was the head chef at the highly prestigious St David’s Park Hotel, Ewloe, worked his way to the position from senior sous chef, having joined the kitchen from the nearby Beaufort Park Hotel, near Mold, four years previously.

And that should have been it for the 38-year-old – a top job in one of the best restaurants in North Wales and all the accolades that go with it, but there was something missing.

“It was a really fantastic position with a superb kitchen staff but when it all came down to it I simply only wanted to cook and the sheer levels of paperwork required was keeping me away from the thing I love doing,” he said.

“I’ve always enjoyed working with food from a very young age and it’s what I’m best at, without sounding boastful, and I used to get really frustrated – something had to give.”

And give it he did when the former Employee of the Year left the St David’s Park for what was perceived to be a ‘quieter’ head chef position at the no less prestigious Bryn Howel Hotel, near Llangollen.

“It was a wrench but the challenge was too good to miss out on. The Cedar Restaurant had an excellent reputation, but the chance to come in and stamp your own ideas – and get back cooking – has proven to be the best decision I have ever made,” he said.

“To see the restaurant full on a Sunday lunchtime is extremely gratifying and, more importantly, is an indication that we’re delivering the goods.”

And Jimmy has revealed the secrets of his tantalising cuisine.

“I have a policy of using only the best fresh produce daily, locally sourced if I feel the quality is good enough.

“You can only produce meals to the standard I expect if you have the best ingredients.”

And if this mercurial chef had to pick one of his dishes to take to a desert island with him, which would it be?

“My favourite dish has got to be braised shoulder of lamb with rosemary enfused mashed potatoes, with an accompanying root vegetable casserole,” he admitted.

“It’s good hearty food in the best Welsh tradition and you can’t beat it.”

-Jimmy will be cooking up a storm in the kitchen tomorrow to celebrate Saint Dwynwen’s Day – the Welsh St Valentine’s Day.

He is cooking a three-course feast for visitors at the Stiwt Theatre Rhos.

The romantic evening will include entertainment from soprano Joy Cornock and harpist Bethan Semmens.

There will also be a prize draw on the night in aid of the Princes Trust, where a spa day for two will be up for grabs.

The event starts at 7.30pm and tickets cost £25.

Tickets are available from the Stiwt Theatre on 01978 841300 or can be bought on the night subject to availability.