There’s a new head chef at one of the region’s first and best-known gastro pubs – and he’s American. Bruce D’Aloia has arrived at the Angel Inn at Hetton, near Skipton, and is causing quite a stir.
His appointment marks the first change at the top in the kitchen at highly-rated pub for 18 years.
Bruce’s food style is defined by fresh, quality ingredients and the experience he gained cooking in luxury resorts around the globe including working as private chef for the designer Donna Karan.
Originally from Vermont, he has travelled the world in pursuit of culinary excellence. With a classical French/Italian background to cooking, his menus at The Angel reflect the different influences he has picked up along way, particularly from Asia.
Now he is settled this side of the Atlantic and has adopted Yorkshire as his home, first enticed here by his wife Kirsten.
Relishing his new job at The Angel, he says: “When I looked into the pedigree of this lovely Dales inn I realised this is exactly where I wanted to be.
“My food is all about delivering pleasure on a plate, offering appetising and creative choices that includes the classics alongside contemporary dishes; something a little different to make people sit up and take notice.
“Most importantly I want people to come back again and again because this is the food they will talk about. This is the ethos that first made The Angel famous and we’re experiencing a real renaissance.”
The same menu is being offered in both the restaurant and brasserie and will be constantly evolving in line with the availability of fresh produce.
At the time of going to press, starters include Angel staples such as the Angel’s Moneybag - queenies, prawn, salmon and smoked fish with a julienne of peppers and courgettes baked in a crispy pastry with a pool of moreish lobster sauce - and the ever popular Queenie Scallops.
New offerings include Crispy Pig Ears served with a garlic and lemon aioli, a Soba Noodle Salad that packs a punch for healthy eating and a luscious Black Pudding Scotch Egg. Main courses feature classics: Fish Pie and Chargrilled Rib Eye Steak, as well as the most succulent Fork Tender Oxtail or melt-in-the-mouth Salmon En Croute.
One of the stars of the menu is Silver Hake Satay served with saffron and yoghurt roast potatoes, watercress and crispy shallots. Vegetarian, coeliac and other dietary specialities are well catered for too.
When asked his favourite ingredient Bruce replied “Lemon” so it’s no surprise there is a zingy Sicilian Lemon Tart with almond ice cream on the menu. Regulars to The Angel, however, will be pleased there is still the famous Sticky Toffee Pudding made to the traditional John Tovey’s Lake District recipe. (John Tovey once dined at The Angel and pronounced its sticky toffee pudding as good as his own!)
Bruce has plans for developing the food offers at The Angel. The Wine Cave opposite the historic inn is popular as a venue for meetings, private dining and small weddings and Bruce is keen to introduce some foodie events including a Chef’s Table.
“It’s the perfect space. It is the right size and has a great atmosphere,” he said.
“I can demonstrate skills and chat to guests whilst they enjoy the fruits of my labour.”
For now, though, he is busy expanding his network of local producers, honing staff skills, and generally getting on with the job of serving a busy pub and restaurant.
Crucially, together with managing director Pascal Watkins, he is taking The Angel forward to satisfy today’s sophisticated diner whilst following the original vision of simple food cooked really well.
The word is out:
The Angel is back at the top of its game.