He's been a chef for 20-odd years, but Attila Kozak has lost none of his passion for food.

The 41-year-old, who is originally from Hungary, is relishing his new role as head chef at the Riviera Hotel in Alum Chine, Bournemouth.

With a focus on fresh, seasonal food, Attila has worked hard over the last seven months to bring his French/European training to the seaside venue, transforming the menu with the aim of achieving a prestigious rosette rating.

"I've always worked in four-star hotels, rosette establishments," says Attila, who has lived in the UK for the last seven years, moving to Dorset three years ago.

"That's partly why they employed me, to achieve a rosette, although we are not chasing awards. It's more about producing honest food with good ingredients and local produce.

"We try to source everything from Dorset or the surrounding areas. We have a good relationship with our suppliers - the fishmonger calls every morning and the butcher sends us an email to offer what's on the market."

Attila has introduced an a la carte menu, which is changed every three months in accordance with the seasons, as well as a specials menu, which is changed every day or two.

"I would say the food is modern British-European," he explains.

"We try to use traditional cooking methods as well as the new ones and we use British produce. For example on the a la carte menu we have calves' liver, which is a very British dish. We also have lamb two ways, using Dorset lamb.

"We have a lot of customers that are guests from London or different areas of the country, so they really like to taste the Dorset flavours."

Attila and the team ensure everything is made in-house, including desserts and bread. They currently buy in gluten free bread, but are working on their own recipe so this too will eventually be produced in-house.

The chefs are constantly working on the next menu, with a new selection of dishes expected in April, and another new menu produced in June for the summer.

"We try to follow the seasons as much as we can," says Attila, "and we keep the favourites on the specials. Fish and chips is always on the menu, but it's a different fish every day.

"We are trying to source some Dorset duck, also we are trying to use Weymouth pork to do pork two ways, and do a new lamb dish.

"Probably on the next menu we will have a home made gnocchi with black truffle and mushroom sauce."

Far from being stuck for ideas after all these years, Attila says the team are constantly thinking ahead and enjoy creating new dishes.

"I've still got a passion for it, I'm still buzzing," he smiles.

SIGNATURE DISH: Dorset lamb two ways Cook a rack of lamb in a water bath for four hours at 60 degrees to makes it really tender and keep it pink. Sear the meat just before serving.

Slow cook the other portion with vegetables and wine for 12 hours, flake up and form into a cylinder shape before rolling in a herb crust.

Serve with seasonal Dorset baby veg, swede puree and a light lamb jus.

(BLOB) rivierabournemouth.co.uk