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New Head Chef Chris talks sustainability, creativity and what's to come in 2020


Tell us a little about your background


I am originally from Manchester and started cooking from the age of 16 in Le Petit Blanc in my hometown. After realising cooking and baking was my passion, I was given a great opportunity to move to Le Manoir to do my training. From there I have mainly stuck to fine dining, working for independents and high-end concepts like Searcys, where I have always been able to express my creativity.


Why FishWorks?


For me, FishWorks is all about freshness. I love that we have a fishmonger in all our restaurants and the relationship with our suppliers means we can rely on great seasonal produce. I love the fact that FishWorks is all about the fish rather than the intricate garnishes. It’s pure and I strongly believe in the importance of letting the seafood do the talking!


What is your favourite seafood?


I would say it’s a toss between Prawns or John Dory! If I was to cook with prawns I would make a very simple pasta dish using thick pasta like Trofie or Casareccia pasta with an olive oil and garlic sauce. For John Dory, I would also keep it simple: Baked, on the bone, seasoned to perfection!


What’s your favourite FishWorks dish?


I’d have to say the Blackened Mackerel. I feel the combination with the spice, aniseed flavouring and the freshness of the chicory work really well together.


What do you think about sustainability in the world of restaurants?


I think more needs to be done! The industry finds itself patting itself on the back about getting rid of straws, but this is a small part of working towards being a responsible restaurant. Though we are stepping in the right direction, we need to explore better ways of using less plastic in our kitchens and bars including finding better alternatives. In a seafood restaurant it’s also important to think about over-fishing. We need to work closely with our suppliers to make sure that we are fishing responsibly. This is something FishWorks takes very seriously. We try to balance our menus to make sure there is enough variance and balance without effecting our eco-system.


I would love to work towards a zero-waste policy in FishWorks by utilising the whole fish. We already use our left-over fish parts to make stock or to use in our delicious dishes like the Bouillabaisse. I’d love to take it a step further by using our left-over vegetables more, for example we can look at creating our own apple cider vinegar from our apple cores and skin or look at creating compost bins which can be sold in the restaurant for any avid gardeners.


I am hoping I can move FishWorks as close as possible to becoming a zero-waste restaurant by 2021!


Who is your chef inspiration?


I have to say my Grandmother! She taught me everything I needed to know about cooking and baking. Her mantra was to respect the ingredients and respect the fire! It’s all about taking your time and taking care with food- a lesson that’s stayed with me from an early age.


Raymond Blanc has also been a great inspiration of mine later on in my life. The fact that he is self-taught and his talent combined with his passion has gotten him to where he is today has driven me to be the best chef I can be right now in my career.


With Valentines round the corner, what is your date dish?


I have to say a delicious roasted lamb with the prefect reduction is a winner! Not forgetting an indulgent and rich dauphinoise potatoes on the side. To finish it would be a toss between an oozing chocolate fondant or my mean blueberry soufflé


Tell us something about you that not many people know about


I’m a pretty good musician! I played violin from the age of 3 till 15- classical music mainly but it is something I’ve picked up again recently.


Who would be your top 3 celebrity dinner guests?


Pep Guardiola (mainly because I’m a massive Man City fan)

Penn from Penn & Teller (so we could have a serious laugh)

John Legend (for some after dinner entertainment)


What is coming up for FishWorks in 2020 that you’re excited about?


I’m really looking forward to taking our Supper Clubs and Dinners to the next level. I want to be more creative and experimental with the dishes to really deliver on a unique experience.


Afternoon Tea is also a big focus for me too. I am looking forward to creating something really quirky and different from the traditional British Afternoon tea. Keep an eye out for our Afternoon Sea very soon!

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