In 1979, a typically cash-strapped 17 year old high school student, Galton Blackiston, set up stall at Rye market selling his own range of home-made cakes, biscuits and preserves. The range became known as ‘Galton’s Goodies’ and such was its success during that year (and the enjoyment derived from watching a loyal following of customers grow) that Galton abandoned plans to be a professional cricketer, deciding instead on a career as a chef.
Within two months of having made this decision, Galton had begun working in the Lake District at the renowned Miller Howe, finally working his way up to the position of Head Chef. With this also followed work experience stints in New York, Canada, South Africa and London.
1987 Tracy and Galton got married and in 1991 they set about finding a suitable location to fulfil their dream of creating a friendly and informal country hotel, where guests would be treated to an amazing experience of relaxed, though professional ambience, with excellent food. A wonderful flint-knapped, farmhouse on the edge of the Morston Marshes caught their eye and today, Morston Hall - a small and cosy hotel - is one of Britain’s leading country hotels, consistently receiving awards since the AA nominated it as Newcomer of the Year in 1992 and Emily Green as joint winner of the Country Hotel of the year along with Chewton Glen. With a CATEY award, Michelin ‘star’ since 1998, Three AA Red Stars and Three AA Rosettes Morston Hall has been recognised as both a great English hotel and restaurant. Morston Hall was also named in the top 100 restaurants in the UK.
Galton has also gone on to hold a Michelin star for 14 years and become UK Craft Guild of Chefs ‘Chef of the year’, East Anglian Chef of the Year . Also given the great honour of becoming a fellow of the craft guild of chefs.
For Galton, the move to Norfolk represented a return to childhood summers, foraging for mussels and shrimping and the opening of an Aladdin’s Cave of Norfolk treasures: Blakeney lobsters, Cromer crabs, Morston mussels, Cley smokehouse kippers, Norfolk apples and local wild mushrooms are just some of the goods which local producers deliver to Morston Hall’s kitchen most mornings, giving Galton the chance to work with the best seasonally available produce for his renowned meals - the no choice, four-course dinners and hearty breakfasts.
In response to requests from Morston Hall regulars, Galton has been sharing his passion for Norfolk produce and the skills of Morston Hall’s kitchen, in twice monthly series of cookery demonstrations since 1992. Demonstrations at the Royal Norfolk Show, Norwich theatre, and other local events have followed, attracting the attention of the food media. He has also demonstrated at various Waitrose and John Lewis outlets around the country and the prestigious Sub Zero and Wolf show rooms on Brompton Road, London. Galton is also a regular at the BBC Good Food Show theatres.
He has appeared on Anglia Television, Gary Rhodes Food Heros, Market Kitchen, Great British Menu and is a regular on Saturday Kitchen with James Martin (BBC) where he’s always promoting seasonal and Norfolk produce - something which he is very keen on encouraging. Galton will always tell people that there is “No finer area” than Norfolk, although he does admit his views are biased.
Perhaps the biggest achievement so far has been the production of his three books ‘Cooking at Morston Hall’, ‘A Return to Real Cooking’ and ‘Summer Time’. The cook books were wonderfully reviewed and received by the public and press alike. The Telegraph, Times, Ft, Daily Mail and others have given the book great reviews. Galton has been fortunate to have Delia, Simon Hopkinson and Mathew Fort write the forwards. Galton is a member of the guild of Food writers and is patron to various charities.
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