Behind the Scenes
Meet the Head Chef
With 30 years’ experience under his belt, Carmarthen born and bred Head Chef, Paul Owen, is helping put Black Pool Mill on the culinary map. Since it’s official opening, the Mill has received hundreds of 5-star reviews, with guests raving about the “masterfully assembled [food]” (N. Dodds, Google) and “Flavours to die for” (K. Archer, Google). Find out more about Paul, including his favourite dish to make and why he chose to work at Black Pool Mill, below.
What made you want to become a chef?
My mother was a fantastic chef who made exquisite dishes, so from a very young age I started cooking. I’ve always found it interesting being able to combine unique ingredients and flavours and using local produce. I’ve always been passionate about food, and I knew early on that I wanted to pursue it as a career, so I followed my dreams and here we are!
Why did you choose Black Pool Mill?
It’s because of the heritage and the use of local produce. Being a new venture and a unique dining experience, appealed to me and I’m very excited to be a part of. I’m looking forward to taking the food to the next level and seeing where it goes.
What do you enjoy the most about your job?
There’s so much I love about the job. I enjoy interacting and working with a large team. And it is a large team - it must be - we are open 6 days a week! I also love working with local produce, and Black Pool Mill is clear about its desire and objective to use and support local produce wherever possible - I respect that. I also enjoy being able to change the menu seasonally.
What’s your favourite part of the mill?
It’s a difficult question to answer because there’s so much! I love the building, the restoration project, and the way it’s all been preserved so beautifully. The detail and authentic, original features are so unique. The open beams and the floors are wonderfully preserved. When I come to work, I’m inspired by the building itself and the history and it feeds into what kind of food I choose to cook.
What’s your favourite dish to cook?
Welsh Lamb is my favourite, it’s a great product! I do a slow Welsh lamb with a lamb cutlet and Hasselback potatoes with salsa verde.
I was asked to be a contestant on MasterChef, but unfortunately due to work and family commitments I was unable to do it.
What might people not know about you?
My favourite colour is pink. I like to buy pink and colourful kitchen utensils, partly because I love bright things and party because I know none of my staff would take them…