Rob Taylor

The Compasses Inn, Canterbury


Key dishes

+ Guinea fowl terrine with crispy sweetcorn and soused red onion

+ Pork belly with almandine potatoes

+ Roast chicory and almond milk sauce

Key facts

+ Fresh ingredients

+ Gastropub Chef of the Year


Rob Taylor’s cooks with a quiet confidence, running the kitchen at the Compasses completely on his own.

His dishes have no bells and whistles: they are simply delicious. Fresh ingredients are cooked to perfection and the final product is always visually impressive without resorting to presentational peacocking.

Whilst he traffics in country gastropub-fayre, Taylor is unafraid to experiment with his menu, trialling dishes such as confit sea trout with white beans, which are often popular enough to win a longer run on the menu.

compasses- gastro chef Rob Taylor

Describe your cooking style

RT: It’s simple in its delivery – I don’t overcomplicate food. I really just cook the food that I’d want to eat when I eat out. Unpretentious but delivered as well as I can possibly deliver it. Some of our dishes may only contain three or four components, but from the very sourcing of the ingredients to how I get them on the plate, I try and incorporate as much flavour as I humanly can. A few simple, clean flavours per plate that really pop out.

What was it that made you fall in love with cooking?

RT: I’ve wanted to cook since I was about nine. It came from watching cookery shows in the morning with my mum. And then further down the line, when I was about fourteen my parents opened up a restaurant so I spent weekends there with them – mostly getting in the way I imagine, but at the time I thought I was helping

What’s the best thing about having The Compasses?

RT: I love creating something that I enjoy and then seeing other people enjoy it is massive. To have people come up to you and tell you how good it is, when they’re genuinely surprised – it’s huge for me. It’s why I do it.

What makes a good chef?

RT: Passion. What I look for isn’t necessarily skills. If I’m looking for an employee, I’m looking for somebody that has a passion for good food and is willing to put the effort in. Pride in what you’re putting on the plate is the biggest thing.


The Compasses Inn

Sole Street

01227 700300


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