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Talbot Chef Enters The Castle Howard Olympics

17th July 2019

Let us introduce you to our Head Chef, Robert Brittain.   Robert joined The Talbot team a year ago, having previously been at the helm at the Crown and Cushion.  Robert joined us to help us with the refurbishment, with a goal to ensure that the food offering matched the new, rustic, relaxed style, and we think he has done a stunning job.

View The Talbot menus here >>

As well as playing an influential role in the hotel refurbishment, running a busy kitchen, being daddy to two little girls, and being the head chef of Malton’s busiest restaurant – Robert decided that he didn’t have enough on, and chose to sign up to the Castle Howard Olympics, competing in the triathlon.

This year will be the tenth Castle Howard Triathlon, and the 9,000 acre grounds form a physically demanding course (1.5k swim, 46k bike & 10k run).  Race entrants start by swimming through the Great Lake before transitioning into the technical bike route through the glorious Yorkshire terrain and the Howardian Hills.  The spectacular run leg passes through the countryside of the estate, before a sprint finish tops everything off in style right in front of the main doors of the house.

Castle Howard is just 6 miles from The Talbot and a popular destination for our guests to visit (don’t worry, it’s a much more leisurely day out if you’re not a triathlon entrant!).  Click here to learn more about Castle Howard >>

So what does a head chef eat when training for a triathlon?  Let’s “dive in” and find out (pardon David’s triathlon pun)!

Generally Robert is eating a lot of fruits, berries, and grains to boost energy with natural sugars and high amounts of nutrients and fibre.

As a chef, your work and personal life always overlap, and you are never “off the clock”, with new dishes and menu ideas constantly on your mind.  Therefore Robert’s training and diet regime inspired some of our most popular lunchtime dishes; the salad bowls.

We asked Robert what his typical daily menu looks like:


A big bowl of home-made granola is a great way to start the day, especially if you have some physical training planned, because the whole grains and fruits are packed with slow-burning energy.  Robert adds some Talbot honey from our own beehive to add a natural sweetener.


As we mentioned, our buddha bowl style salads were inspired by Robert’s athletic lifestyle. His favourite is the hot smoked salmon with fine beans, radishes, pickled cucumber, fennel, dill, and a dash of horseradish.


In the evenings, Rob is often busy at work, and so a quick and simple dish is best. Chicken is a very healthy meat, full of lean protein, and low in saturated fat, plus its very easy to cook which is great if you have a busy schedule.  Malton produces herb-fed chicken from just down the road from The Talbot.


As well as eating right, it is important to stay hydrated.  Many of the Talbot Team have jumped on the Green Juice train – made possible at this time of year by the Talbot gardens which have a plentiful supply of fresh fruit and veg.

Robert’s triathlon is on Saturday 20th Sunday 21st Julyand everyone at The Talbot wishes him all the best!

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