Miklos Takacs is relishing the prospect of revitalising the menu at the Mercure Hatfield Oak Hotel in Hatfield, Hertfordshire, which is currently undergoing an exciting programme of refurbishment.
The three-star establishment was recently acquired by leading hospitality management company Focus Hotels Management, which has launched plans to update the hotel’s facilities and expand its capacity in order to provide continued modern facilities for their guests.
Experienced chef Miklos, 37, has big plans to enhance the menu as he brings his continental experience to the hotel. “It’s a lighter menu at the moment and I’m looking to freshen things up,” he says. “I like using Mediterranean fusions, lots of fresh ingredients and a wide variety of vegetables.
“We’re planning on introducing the influence of a different national cuisine in the menu once a week – Portuguese, Chinese, Korean and so on. I particularly like dishes with nice marinated meats – things like lemon-scented chicken with pilau rice in a coconut-mango sauce and rump of lamb in a red wine and beetroot sauce.”
Miklos has previously worked at The Manor Hotel in Elstree (formerly known as the Edgwarebury Hotel), a boutique hotel where he spent two years as head chef, and prior to that worked at the luxury Harpenden House Hotel for six years.
His love for cooking began under the influence of his family in his native Hungary, where his grandmother, father and uncle were all catering professionals in their home city of Keszthely. Miklos trained at The Technical Catering School in Keszthely, qualifying in 1995 before moving to the UK 13 years ago.
“It’s a very exciting time to join the hotel, with all the improvements that are being made,” he adds. “Raising the quality of the food is an important part of that and my aim is to be serving four-star standard food.
“I’d also like to see us increase our services – it would be nice to serve hot dishes outside, maybe introduce a Sunday lunch carvery and cream teas in the afternoons, and freshly baked cakes and homemade snacks.
“I’m absolutely focused on food safety – such as separate sections in the kitchen for meat and vegetables and so on. There are many aspects of food preparation and delivery that I’ll enjoy working on and improving here.”
Located in Roehyde Way, the Mercure Hatfield Oak Hotel’s £1 million refurbishment programme includes the conversion of several offices and meeting rooms into stunning new bedrooms and the renovation of the Gallery Restaurant and Orchard Suite.
The hotel is a favourite with business and leisure travellers alike, due to its close proximity to the A1(M), M1 and M25 and easy access to central London, just 25 minutes away by train. Luton, Stansted and Heathrow airports are all within easy reach.
Katherine Webster-Brown, General Manager of the Mercure Hatfield Oak Hotel, says: “We are delighted to have hired Miklos as the new head chef at the Mercure Hatfield Oak Hotel.
“Adding this property to our existing UK portfolio is something we’re extremely excited about, and we can’t wait to see how Miklos’ revamped menu and beautiful food contributes to further increasing the popularity and success of this already well-regarded establishment.”
Focus Hotels Management runs a UK portfolio of 16 hotels, with more than 1,500 bedrooms.
For more information about the Mercure Hatfield Oak Hotel, call 01707 275 701 or visit www.hotels-hatfield.com.