Published November 14th, 2013 | Features

A taste of… Christmas!

Waiting… meets one of the region’s top chefs, Geoff Derry from The Grove House Hotel, to find out what inspires him in the kitchen. He also gives us an exclusive look at the recipe to one of his favourite Christmas dishes.

Keeping it local is important to Geoff Derry, Head Chef at Wallasey’s Grove House Hotel. Sourcing his eggs from Appleby Farm in Greasby, fish from Wards in Birkenhead market and mussels from Anglesey, Geoff uses the experts’ recommendations and the natural seasons to inspire his menus.

“There is a lot of local produce available but a lot of inspiration comes from the season and what you see on the TV a lot now… you see things and mix and match them together.”

Moving to the Wirral aged 11 from London, Geoff trained for two years at Wirral Metropolitan College before starting his career at the Royal Lancaster Hotel. Having also worked at the Hotel Victoria and the Parkgate Hotel, it has been the diners at the Grove House, for the last decade, who have enjoyed the delights of the Derry kitchen.

Here Geoff offers an alternative recipe to roast turkey for those wanting something a little different this Christmas.

Confit of duck legIngredients

4 duck legs, 1 orange, bay leaves, fresh thyme, rosemary, juniper berries, duck fat or olive oil, salt and pepper, fresh (or tinned) black cherries, port, good quality beef or chicken stock.


  1. Place the duck legs in a roasting tray with salt and pepper, quarter orange, crushed juniper berries, thyme and rosemary. Rub seasoning into the duck legs and cover with oil or duck fat and leave to infuse for a couple of hours.
  2. Place in the oven on a low heat (approx 180°) for 6 hours or until the meat comes away from the bone.
  3. Remove the duck legs from the oil and place on a wire tray over a metal tray and put back in the oven.
  4. Meanwhile pour port into a saucepan and reduce down by half; add meat stock and reduce again; add cherries, warm through and serve in a suave boat.
  5. Place the duck legs on either individual plates or a large platter and serve with mashed potato and buttered greens (e.g. kale, spinach end, or cabbage).

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