Restaurant 1539 News

Introducing Chef's Signature Summer Menu

Head Chef, Dan Speak, introduces his 'Chef's Summer Signature Menu' to 1539 from the beginning of September. 

Showcasing some of his favourite dishes to run alongside the seasonal a la carte, this exclusive offering will be available from Tuesday to Saturday. 

Guests can choose to dine from the Signature Menu for £65 per person, to include six sensational courses with wine to complement each.

We caught up with Dan to discuss the inspiration behind the menu, his favourite dishes and also an insight into his early life as a chef. 


How do you decide on the dishes for a menu such as this? Do the dishes on this menu complement each other or is it an experimentation with different palates? I try to keep the ingredients seasonal; the menu has to be balanced in flavour and we like to also see which foods are on trend. We offer a daily lunch menu, and this is always a good way to practise and try out new dishes. 

What was your inspiration behind this menu? This menu was very personal to my own tastes, using a lot of ingredients and flavours that I like. 

Do you have a favourite dish from this menu? I think the 'Wood pigeon, roasted pearl barley, hen of the woods and pickled brown cap mushrooms' is my favourite. It's something a bit different, with great flavours and the hen of the woods garnish is just divine.   

What is a dish or flavour that depicts 'summer' to you? There is nothing better than a fresh, juicy homegrown tomato with a pinch of salt whilst out on a family picnic. 

What is your guilty food pleasure? Corned beef and brown sauce. 

Which 3 ingredients could you not live without? Butter, eggs and potatoes. 

What was the first dish you learnt to cook? My first job was in a small family run restaurant, the Head Chef was from Bakewell and taught me how to make a traditional Bakewell Tart. 

Who was your main cooking influence growing up? I feel quite lucky that I have always known what I wanted to do for a career from a very early age. My Mum has always helped and supported me in this and taught me what she knows in the kitchen - so I would have to say she was my main influence! 

Do you have a signature plate that you like to cook at home? A favourite of my girlfriends is pan fried sea bass with sauté potatoes, Savoy cabbage, caper, shallot and Dijon sauce. 

What has been the pinnacle of your career? Going to cook for the Prime Minister at 10 Downing Street for a special St David's day celebration back in 2015.


To enjoy Dan's Summer Signature Menu, call 01244 304 611, email or book online.