A Life in A Day... Francesco Volgo, Head Chef of Barnsley House Our talented and acclaimed Head Chef shares a few quick and tasty tales of what motivates and inspires him in his work and life at Barnsley House How long have you been a chef... and why the Cotswolds? I’ve been cheffing for the last 21 years. The Cotswolds was really just a coincidence as I wanted to come to the UK to learn English for 6 months... and now it's been 14 years! Where does your passion for food come from? First and foremost from my Mum's cooking and from her buying fresh ingredients every day. My Grandfather was also a baker and that tradition in my family carried on for another three generations. Describe your process. I respect the seasonality of food and I'm obsessed with finding new trends and new techniques of cooking... followed by attention to detail and simplicity on the plate. I work very closely with Richard on product and the timetable regarding the vegetables. The veg are picked every morning on request, as I want to keep them as fresh as possible. What's your philosophy on mentoring young talent and career opportunities with the Calcot Collection? No philosophy at all. I simply want to pass on my knowledge and passion to people who are willing to learn by committing themselves to cooking. I always say that cooking is fun and you have to enjoy it, otherwise this is not the right job for you. During my time with The Calcot Collection, I've taken many apprentices under my wing and all of them are still very good friends and working in very respectable restaurants in the area. One of them holds a Michelin star. This is what makes me proud. A L I F E I N A D A Y What's it like having such an incredible garden at Barnsley House and working with Head Gardener Richard Gatenby? Having fresh produce from our garden is a big thing for a chef and I love it... just for the simple reason that we can create an awesome plate of food. Any comment on being an Italian chef in the heart of the sleepy Cotswolds? I'm just a normal guy, trying to hold onto his strong Italian roots by creating a little Italian corner here at Barnsley House.