Born in the North East, Steve Waites started out as a Kitchen Porter before spending his early Chef years working in kitchens around the Country including Gosforth Park, Puckrup Hall and Turnberry.  Steve has worked with some of the very well known industry Chefs including Raymond Blanc at Le Manoir and Marco Pierre White at The Restaurant (Hyde Park).

Steve has always had a passion for food and flavour and after travelling and working in Australia, he moved to the Midlands and carried on making a name for himself in classical fine dining restaurants. Steve opened Belle House in 2003 and has been cooking at the stoves ever since.  Today Belle House is a successful business with an incredibly loyal customer following and is one of only three restaurants in Worcestershire in the Good Food Guide.

kitchen work

'What Inspires me' by Steve Waites:

“…It definitely wasn't my parents’ style of cooking and my mums unusual roast dinners that inspired me to cook!  Being brought up in the north east made me tough and not one to shirk. I wanted to work and earn money from a young age and so learnt the value of money and working hard from then onwards.

Coming into the industry from an early age has meant I’ve been involved and in charge of quite a few kitchens, I’ve also seen trends come and go but essentially I’ve always wanted to push myself and strived to do the absolute best I can. Looking back I always loved the idea of completing a task and getting a result, to this day I am still passionate about this aspect of being a chef. I think most chefs are very competitive and highly motivated in this way.

The industry can be a crazy business, simply because of the hours you put in, however no day is the same and it’s far from mundane which continues to make me passionate about food, flavour and the industry.

I really am a very hands-on chef, I’m still at the stoves and doing what I’ve always done and I think that's the secret to success, to really have your finger on the button all the time. I very rarely get home before midnight but I’m lucky because I still love it and I’m still passionate about food!

We're really lucky to have some of the best produce available to us on our doorstep. Moving to Worcestershire has proved to me that the only way to cook is with local, seasonal produce, which is reflected in every menu we produce. I’m continually inspired to use the best produce and ingredients and always seeking new ways to use the ‘whole’ product.

I get a real buzz from helping to develop the skills of the team within my business and seeing them grow in confidence and maturity, eventually seeing them go onto bigger and better things.

Seeing guests enjoying their dining experience, whether it be in the restaurant or a bride and groom on their wedding day, the customer satisfaction is really what it’s all about!”