Alistair Craig - ChefBecause we’re keen for everyone to know about the brilliant people behind the New Forest Food and Drink Festival, over the next few weeks and months, we’ll be introducing you to our amazing local chefs who’ll be producing the menus for our headline events.

Surrounded by the beauty of The New Forest and 14 acres of immaculately-tended grounds and gardens, it’s no surprise that Alistair Craig, new head chef at the Cambium restaurant at Careys Manor Hotel & SenSpa in Brockenhurst, is already finding inspiration for his new menus.

Alistair believes that good food should engage all the senses and take the diner on a journey of taste and flavour. His beetroot and strawberry sorbet is culinary art and perfectly encapsulates summer on a plate. The beetroot juice used in this dish creates a fuchsia pink sorbet and the flavour of local strawberries, delicately complemented by a sprinkling of nasturtium flowers and sprigs of mint, is a delight for all the senses.

Alistair’s career began at Cambium’s sister restaurant, The Terrace, at The Montagu Arms in Beaulieu.  Under the wing of Head Chef and Roux Scholar, Matthew Tomkinson, he was taught by one of Britain’s best chefs and was given the opportunity to work as Sous Chef.

With the natural beauty of the forest as his inspiration, he has some very exciting plans for the new menu at Cambium and for the New Forest Food & Drink Festival – focusing on simplicity, quality of ingredients and exciting flavours.

Alistair will be hosting a ‘Perfect Pork & Pannage‘ event during the Festival. Expect Pondhead Farm Saddleback Pork, crab from Lymington and seasonal vegetables from Exbury and our own kitchen garden.

Take a look at what else is on the New Forest Food & Drink Festival menu