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View Chef Colin Bedford’s profile in FOUR.
Originally from England, Chef Colin Bedford says his culinary interests started at an early age. He was enamored by his mother’s home baking and helping his father water the vegetable garden. After attending and graduating from Yeovil College in Somerset with a Diploma in Hospitality, Chef Bedford took on his first full-time job in 1996. He became an apprentice at The Castle Hotel, a Norman fortress built in the 12th century, where he worked under esteemed British chef Phil Vickery. The Castle is a family-run property, known for fostering up-and-coming chefs.
In 2000, Colin relocated to Canada and began working at The Prince Of Wales Hotel, a Four-Diamond CAA/AAA restaurant offering a la carte dining and conference/catering facilities in Niagara-on-The-Lake, Ontario. He was soon promoted to the position of Junior Sous Chef, where he gained exposure to farm to table cuisine and realized that, as he says, “simplicity is key to maximizing flavors.”
Chef Bedford was recruited to The Fearrington House in 2005 as Executive Sous Chef. He became Executive Chef in 2008 and has since transformed culinary programs throughout Fearrington Village to a higher level. Equally adept at crafting the fine dining tasting menu at The Fearrington House, to directing the production of housemade jams and housecured meats, to making wood-fired pizzas at our beer garden, to leading the planting and harvesting of Fearrington’s on-site garden, to whipping up comfort food at our casual eatery The Fearrington Granary — Chef Bedford has the entire Village Center running smoothly.
A little more insight into Fearrington’s Executive Chef Colin Bedford:
When did you know you wanted to be a chef?
When I was young my mum would allow me to pull up a toolbox to stand on while she cooked. From watching her bake, to returning home from school to the smell of beef stew and dumplings, to helping my dad harvest vegetables from our garden, food has been an important part of my life for as long as I can remember. I guess it was just meant to be.
What is your favorite ingredient to cook with?
I really enjoy making comfort food. There’s something about comfort food that resonates with people. Every dish brings back memories and creates new ones at the same time. Because of this, I’d have to say slow cooked braised meats. A braised short rib and rich buttery mash, who doesn’t love that? The addition of truffles never hurts either!
What tip(s) would you give someone who wanted to be a chef?
Don’t run before you can walk and learn the importance of multitasking. If you take the time to learn and work your way up through the kitchen, both of these lessons will become part of your daily life.
Have any cooking tips for at-home chefs?
Always let protein get to room temperature before cooking. This makes for even and consistently cooked meats. Also, let food rest for at least the same amount of time it was cooked before cutting. And, finally never tent meat with tin foil. The residual heat will overcook the dish.
If you had to eat one item for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Simple — green jello.