Meet Alexander Baillieu, Estate Chef at Squerryes
Food that lives up to the wine
With 20 years’ experience, Squerryes Estate Chef, Alexander Baillieu creates seasonal dishes and glorious signature plates at both our Terrace and Bottle Store restaurants. Having cut his teeth in many established kitchens around the world, our talented chef uses select cuts of prime meat, locally grown vegetables, and seafood from our coastal waters at the heart of his menu. Here, we find out how he’s cooking food ‘that lives up to the wine’…
Tell us about your role at Squerryes
I’m the estate chef, whose responsibility it is to run the entire food operation. That includes creating menus, sourcing fresh ingredients, hiring and training other chefs, overseeing the kitchen, and leading the brigade. It requires having a vision for the food at Squerryes.
How do you create your menus?
I always think of a menu as a book. You don’t want chapter one to be a thriller, chapter two a comedy, and chapter three a whodunit. Instead, you want it to flow, with occasional twists, turns, and additions, creating something coherent and professional.
What’s your approach to cooking?
Buying great-quality ingredients, and letting their flavours speak for themselves. I keep things simple, season perfectly, and cook sympathetically, so that you can really taste what’s on the plate. It comes from having a fundamentally sound technique and putting in the hours in the kitchen.
Where would you like to take the restaurant going forward?
What we’re hoping for is that the Bottle Store becomes a year-round venue, and the Terrace Restaurant becomes a very popular summer destination. I’d like to build on our al fresco dining experience and do music evenings in the vines too.
Does that fit into the overall vision for Squerryes?
Squerryes is itself an artisan company, responsible for producing one of the premium sparkling wines in the world, so the food always needs to reflect that. In essence, the goal is to ensure that the food lives up to the wine.