CHEF Gerwin Brand spent 36 hours cooking up a storm near Hay-on-Wye this week.

The 41-year-old Dutch chef, whose background includes being personal chef to Richard Branson and head chef at Raymond Blanc's Le Manor aux Quat'Saisons, became mentor to chef Hugh Sawyer when the two worked in the Swiss ski resort, Verbier.

Hugh has been running an off-grid gourmet restaurant at Walker's Cottage campsite in Clifford this summer, only recently retreating to the sheep shed for winter dining.

Travelling from Scotland back to Kent where he is currently employed, Gerwin thought he would stop by and see what his former sous-chef was working on.

"The emphasis is on seasonality, using a lot of produce from the garden," said Gerwin.

"I love that the off-grid aspect to Hugh's set-up makes us, as chefs, appreciate the basic advantages of running water and constant cooking heat."

The two men foraged for ingredients the day before the dining club for 20 and produced a tasting menu topping 10 dishes which included local lamb, poached quince and damson.