Jason Ashdown is a man your heart can go out to. The problem is so could your stomach.
Jason is the executive chef at the popular Oake Manor just outside Taunton and his speciality dish is deserts.
Of course, the talented chef can prepare anything from a cream tea to a full banquet for 200 guests. But Jason loves nothing better than planning and making all sorts of deserts – and so do his customers.
“I have to admit I am very much a desert man,” smiles Jason.
“It’s a great pleasure when I create something special for a special event and see the response from a customer.”
Jason has been enjoying the sweet taste of success at Oake for the past twenty-two years. As executive chef, he is in charge of a Head chef and six others, not to mention dozens of waiters.
“Our kitchen is open for breakfast from 8am all day right through to 9pm. The menu is extremely varied because we cater for such a diverse clientele,” he adds.
Oake Manor is regarded as one of the best golf clubs in the south west, but it also hosts weddings, proms, anniversary celebrations, office parties and its very popular music events.
That means Jason and his hard-working team need to provide a range of food for all tastes and palettes.
“I think the best food is often the simplest but well done,” he adds.
“People are more educated today about what they are eating and how it is prepared than they were even twenty years ago when I started at Oake.
“Our chefs and staff love getting feedback from customers so we can change and update our menus. The prestigious Oake Manor Conservatory Restaurant offers an all-round terrific dining experience.
“Whether you want a hearty breakfast after a good game or a quick snack before you hit the first hole, a romantic dinner for two or Sunday lunch with the family, you can be sure of the most tempting menus and yes, children are always welcome.”
Jason emphasises that his kitchen range makes sure that vegetarians and those with special dietary needs will always find something to tempt them.
He adds: “We can always accommodate any special dietary needs if given notice, making Oake Manor one of the most accommodating places to eat out in Somerset.
“You will find a wide range of aperitifs, wines, spirits, hand-pumped real ales, a selection of lagers and soft drinks. Several of our beers come from the Otter Brewery, just down the road in Devon, and another treat for the discerning beer drinker is Sharp’s Doom Bar, from Padstow in Cornwall.
“We keep an extensive and well-balanced wine list to complement your meal, with 48 wines in stock, locally sourced and all reasonably priced because we don’t believe in overcharging our customers.”
Life is indeed sweet in the Oake Manor kitchen.