He's the exciting young chef bringing passion - and awards - to a Hampshire pub. 

Connor Hurford, head chef at The Four Horseshoes in Nursling, talks chip dipping and self sufficiency in our meet the chef column. 

What inspired you to become a chef?

"As a child I always enjoyed cooking with my grandmother and being a chef has allowed me to carve out a career in something I am passionate about."

What was the first meal you cooked for someone else?

"Very typical… Spaghetti Bolognese."

Tell us about your career so far….

"I was studying accounting and finance at university with a part time job as a chef and my love for the industry just kept growing. After I completed my studies, I chose to pursue my passion for cooking, working in several restaurants and climbing up the ladder, leading to where I am today."

Daily Echo:

What is your proudest career moment to date?

"Becoming head chef at a young age and winning TripAdvisor awards three years running."

What is your signature dish?

"Aromatic Confit Duck served with Peas a la Francaise, Duck Fat Fondant Potatoes, Roscoff Onion and Charred Endive."

Daily Echo: This Aromatic Confit Duck dish is on the menu at The Four Horseshoes

What is your favourite dish currently on the menu?

"Crispy Pork Belly served with Charred Hispi Cabbage, Champ Mash, Pea and Leek Puree, Pork Crackling Crumb and a Vermouth Jus."

What is your favourite place to eat in Hampshire?

"Mevlana Turkish Kitchen (Shirley). Although the food is simple, the freshness and quality is incredible, and the service second to none.

Daily Echo: Connor and some of the team from The Four Horseshoes, Nursling

What is your favourite meal to eat at home?

"A rustic Spanish White Bean and Chorizo Stew served with crusty bread."

What do you like to drink with dinner?

"Diplomatico rum on ice, but only on a special occasion."

What is your culinary guilty pleasure?

"Dipping chips in the resting juices of steaks."

Which key ingredient is always in your fridge?

"Butter because it makes everything better."

Daily Echo:

What is your favourite Hampshire ingredient?

"Lyburn’s Old Winchester cheese, a great local substitute for parmesan that is also vegetarian, which is a bonus for us chefs."

What’s your career ambition?

"To one day open my own business and produce great food. I aim to become self-sufficient and produce the food I know and love."

Daily Echo: On the menu at The Four Horseshoes, Nursling