Nathan Dimond, Head Chef
Born in the Rhymney Valley, South Wales, Nathan left home at 16 to begin working in kitchens.
Starting in London, at Petersham Nurseries, he worked with a daily view across the River Thames until he left for Chateau Longueville Manor in Jersey.
It was here that Nathan’s affinity with hyper-locally grown fruit and veg began in the three-acre kitchen garden and out on the manor’s private fishing lake.
Nathan’s kitchen didn’t buy a single vegetable each year between the months of April and September. Nathan says, “The morning finds totally dictate the menu. I begin with a crop of fresh vegetables from the Demesne then add fresh, local meat, fish and fowl.”
Having learnt to create daily menus from scratch using such ingredients, Nathan decided to further his culinary education and he moved to Powerscourt House near Dublin, to work in Gordon Ramsay’s kitchen. He eventually left Powerscourt to train in classical French cooking in the centre of Dublin.
“Inspiration is all around, I even take cues from the Cliff bees that sometimes come up and tap on the Orangery windows.”
Nathan has also worked on private yachts for Russian oligarchs and in an Irish President’s house, yet his ethos has always remained the same a commitment to working with healthy, earthy foods that taste great and are produced as locally as possible.
Nathan was married at Lyons to his wife, the estate manager’s daughter. They now live there, with their 18-month old child.
The way we give it an extra dimension is by coming up with different preparations and common sense flavour combinations. To be honest, I love working with vegetables because they are the most versatile of all raw materials.”
The Potager Garden
Cliff at Lyons has the benefit of its rural location, with an organic kitchen garden adjacent to The Orangery.
This proximity is evident in the fresh snip of verbena in your morning tea, in the crushed mint in juices, to the French radishes chopped at your dinner table.
Unpretentious, healthy food is the culinary focus, with dynamic menus dictated not just by the season, but the day.
Generally dishes are low on sugar and fat, with more veg and less carbs on a plate. All meals are also generous in taste and portion sizing — comfort food that makes you feel good, while being best enjoyed with family and friends in a convivial atmosphere.