WATCH: I went behind the scenes of The Queen's Hotel kitchen to see how scallops and roast chicken are made

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After stepping out of the boiling kitchen at The Queen's Hotel, I was hit by a wave of realisation - butter is key to a delicious meal and it is absolutely roasting in a working kitchen.

The Queen's Hotel in Southsea is a staple in the community with the kitchen team serving up sublime dishes - and I was fortunate enough to be able to see what it takes to work in the industry. Simon Hartnett, the executive head chef, prepared all of the ingredients ready for us to make scallops accompanied with masala sauce and a bhaji and chicken breast with cheese and leek pie, champ, wilted spinach with a chicken butter sauce. When Simon told me what he was going to be cooking and talking me through, I initially thought 'thank god - finally someone will teach me how to perfect my dry chicken' - and the entire experience was eye opening.

Feature on new menu at Queens Hotel, Southsea. 
Pictured: Simon Hartnett with the dishes.

Picture: Habibur RahmanFeature on new menu at Queens Hotel, Southsea. 
Pictured: Simon Hartnett with the dishes.

Picture: Habibur Rahman
Feature on new menu at Queens Hotel, Southsea. Pictured: Simon Hartnett with the dishes. Picture: Habibur Rahman | Habibur Rahman

First and foremost, I definitely was not dressed appropriately for the occasion - with a knitted jumper and thermal tights on, I knew I'd made the wrong outfit choice the moment that I stepped through the swinging door. Hit with a wave of heat, I knew I would end up like Olaf in Frozen if Elsa hadn't saved him in time. In no time - and I mean no time, I was dripping in sweat - and that was before we started cooking so I take my hat off to the chefs that spend all day cooking.

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We began with the chicken dish which consisted of a combination of the chicken breast, champ and a cheese and leak pie. It quickly became apparent that butter is a staple when cooking an indulgent meal - butter featured in pretty much every aspect of the dish and after trying the end result, I can confirm that the calories are worth it.

The chicken went into the oven and Simon began on the sides and the scallops for the starter. I continued to melt - but it was so interesting being talked through the secret to cooking scallops so they are full of flavour and keep their spongy texture. As a cooking novice, I have to admit that I hadn't tried scallops before so it was a new kettle of fish for me to see how they're cooked.

Whilst we cooked in the corner of the kitchen, the hustle and bustle continued, and quickly the area we were working in filled with some absolutely incredible aromas. Once the scallops were golden, Simon moved on to the masala sauce and put the bhaji into the fryer and once all of the components were done, it was time to plate up. Under the hot lamp it went and we went back to the chicken, which was done in the oven. Equipped with a Blue Peter style 'here's one I made earlier' cheese and leak pie, champ, spinach and a tasty chicken butter sauce - and the meal was complete.

Scallops with masala sauce and an onion bhaji. 

Picture: Habibur RahmanScallops with masala sauce and an onion bhaji. 

Picture: Habibur Rahman
Scallops with masala sauce and an onion bhaji. Picture: Habibur Rahman | Habibur Rahman

I was desperate to step out of the kitchen to cool down and when I did, it felt like heaven. I chugged a pint of water and had to take a moment of appreciation for everyone that works in the food and drink industry. I was followed out of the kitchen by Simon who was happy to let me try the food we had made and oh my goodness, it was absolutely delicious.

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I tried the scallops with an air of hesitation but it was much tastier than I anticipated and the combination of the sauce and the mini onion bhaji was divine. I then tried some of the chicken and, I have to admit, that it was my favourite out of the two - the chicken was succulent and had a kick of buttery garlic goodness. The pie was sensational and I could have happily eaten multiple. Everything worked together like the components were made to sit next to each other on a plate.

Roast chicken breast with champ, a cheese and leak pie, buttered spinach and a chicken butter sauce. 
Picture: Habibur RahmanRoast chicken breast with champ, a cheese and leak pie, buttered spinach and a chicken butter sauce. 
Picture: Habibur Rahman
Roast chicken breast with champ, a cheese and leak pie, buttered spinach and a chicken butter sauce. Picture: Habibur Rahman | Habibur Rahman

The whole experience was a brilliant one and it was amazing to get a chance to see the other side of the hotel and what goes into making each dish on the menu.

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