Meet the Chef – Tom Conway

Head Chef – The Seven Tuns

Why did you decide to become a chef – what inspired you?

My grandfather inspired me to cook at a young age, it’s been all I’ve ever wanted to do.

Where did you train?

I am not formally trained. I took a job at a family friend’s pub on my own at 16 and went from there. I worked in Australia, London, and Cornwall before moving to the Cotswolds.

What is your favourite cuisine to cook?

Given my experience at Nobu on Park Lane, I really enjoy Japanese food. In our pub, however, I love to use ingredients and techniques from around the world to highlight the great produce in our area.

What is your signature dish?

We have a few but our Sunday roast has become our signature dish as it’s one that never changes and probably my favourite meal of the week.

What influences your menu?

First, what’s available locally, in season and of great quality, everything else falls into place from there.

Favourite ingredient?


Your favourite season to cook in?

I love all the seasons in this part of the world, but summer is always best when the weather is good and people are happy!

What’s your personal go-to dish when short of time?

Stir-fried noodles packed with fresh local veg.

You have your idol coming to dinner, what do you serve?

Beef wellington.

Favourite British fruit and vegetable?

Asparagus and strawberries.

Is there anything you hate and/or won’t eat – dish or ingredient?

I’m not a fan of anything processed. In particular, I can’t stand tinned baked beans

Is there a recipe you could share with us?

My Chedworth Veal Osso Bucco with saffron risotto, crispy bone marrow and salsa Verdi.

Chedworth Veal Osso Bucco with saffron risotto, crispy bone marrow and salsa Verdi.

For this recipe it’s best to speak with the butcher to get the veal shin sliced through the bone, I only use 8-12-month-old male calves which are a byproduct of the dairy industry. If you can’t get veal it will work as well with beef shin.

For the Veal Shin

  • 4 x 250g slices of veal shin
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 carrot, roughly chopped
  • 2 sticks of celery, roughly chopped
  • 1 bulb garlic, split
  • a small handful of thyme
  • 200ml white wine
  • 400ml veal stock
  • salt and pepper
  • oil for frying

Begin by heating a large heavy-based saucepan, add the oil when it’s very hot, season the veal well with salt and pepper and sear it in the hot pan until golden and caramelized on both sides, if your pan isn’t big enough for all 4 just do them in batches, removing from the pan each time.

Now add the carrots, onion, celery and garlic to the hot pan and roast it until golden brown, then add the thyme, followed by the white wine, place the veal back in the pan and cover with the veal stock.

Cover with the lid, or foil and place in the oven at 140 c for 2 hours or until tender. Cool in the liquor.

For the Risotto Base

  • 300g arborio risotto rice300ml white wine
  • 1 large shallot, finely chopped
  • A good pinch of saffron
  • Olive oil for cooking
  • 300ml white wine
  • 1-pint vegetable stock
  • salt and pepper

Heat the olive oil in a heavy-based pan, add the shallots and cook gently until soft but no colour, then add the rice and stir for a couple of minutes before adding the wine and saffron and stir on a low heat until all the wine is absorbed. Now add the stock but by bit stirring regularly until the rice is tender. Season well then cool on a tray.

For the Bone Marrow

  • 4×3 inch bone marrow planks (ask a good butcher)
  • 100g plain flour
  • 100g panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg whisked with a dash of milk

Remove the marrow from the bones, trying to keep it in good-sized chunks. Dust in the flour, then the egg mix and then the breadcrumbs. Reserve in the fridge ready for frying.

For the Salsa Verdi

  • A 30g bunch of flat parsley
  • A 30g bunch of coriander
  • A 30g bunch of basil
  • 10g mint
  • 2 tbsp drained capers
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 lemon, juice and zest
  • 100ml of olive oil
  • Sea salt to taste

Place all ingredients in the blender and blitz until smooth, add more oil if needed to get it blending. Season to taste.

To Finish

  • 2 tbsp mascarpone
  • 20g grated parmesan
  • Veg oil for frying
  • 2 heads chive flowers
  • a few pea shoots
  • Salt and pepper

Start by placing the veal onto a baking tray with some of the strained cooking liquor, cover them only halfway and place in the oven at 200c.

Now heat the risotto with a little more stock until you have a thick but just pourable consistency, add the mascarpone and parmesan, check the seasoning and set aside.

Now fry the marrow in a little veg oil until crisp and golden.

Place the risotto on the middle of the plate, top with the veal from the oven and spoon some of the sauce around. Now scatter the marrow around and top with the salsa Verdi, finish with the chive flowers and pea shoots.

Tom Conway – Head Chef
The Seven Tuns: