Shoot The Bull Chef, Chris Harrison Chats to Chef’s Table
Chef Chris Harrison has been a Chef for just over ten years. His career started locally to where he grew up working in the kitchens of a Country House restaurant with rooms just outside Hull. From almost the moment he entered this first kitchen he set his sights on having his own business. He now runs two businesses Shoot the Bull which is a catering company that focuses on street food and The Old House a city centre restaurant in Hull. After 10 years as a chef, “slave to the stove” as he calls it, he decided it was time to take the leap into self-employment, starting Shoot The Bull in 2015.
His career has seen him working at restaurants including The Fat Duck, The Hand & Flowers and Gidleigh Park alongside exceptionally well-regarded chefs such as Heston Blumenthal, who taught him to push boundaries with food, but his main motivation comes from seeing his customers enjoying the food he puts so much care and attention into producing.
Q: Before you chose to be a chef did you have another career in mind?
A: As a child, I had a million and one ideas as to what I wanted to do. From a fireman to an architect, or Doctor to Designer. I was 15/16 when I fully decided that being a chef was the career for me. I worked part-time in the industry to start and fell in love with it. The creativity in food caught my imagination.
Q: Which restaurant would you like to go to? (that you haven’t had the opportunity to visit yet)
A: There is a restaurant called Skosh in York. I believe it’s about a year old but all I hear is great things. Many tipping it for a Michelin star. It would be great to go there soon. They focus on small plates which is a way of eating I really enjoy.
Q: How important is a Michelin star? a chef in France, who has 3 Michelin stars, recently asked that they are removed because of the pressure – your thoughts
A: Michelin commands so much respect in the industry. I think it always will. I strive to achieve great things at our restaurant and if we reach the heights of a Michelin star I would be over the moon! I have worked in a few Michelin places and there is so much pressure. Every customer arriving with an expectancy of sheer brilliance. That’s the pressure, but if that can be coped with there are not many Michelin restaurants that struggle to fill their restaurant diary! I imagine the restaurant in question already has a great reputation and is full but to be given the highest recognition from probably the world’s most famous food guide is incredible, I wouldn’t be turning it down.
Q: What do you think about negative reviews?
A: I have mixed opinions on negative reviews. There’s a lot of chefs in the industry that don’t like things such as TripAdvisor. However, I think a negative review written in the right constructive manner can be useful for improving. Personally, I would much rather deal with a negative issue in person there and then. I think it’s the best way to resolve anything. No restaurant sets out to disappoint a customer and I believe dealing with it in the restaurant at the time is the most appropriate and fairest.
Q: What foods or styles of cooking do you enjoy cooking the most and which do you most like to eat?
A; I have had a lot of experience on pastry sections in kitchens so I really enjoy creating desserts, making bread products and pastries. These are also my favourite to eat! Whenever I eat out I have to squeeze a dessert in.
Q: What is your favourite dish on the current menu/s in which you use ingredients or produce from your most local supplier?
Our Brawn dish is a real favourite. Slow braised pig head, breadcrumbed and deep fried. Served with Yorkshire forced rhubarb and local cider reduction. The Pork coming from only 25 miles outside of the city centre.
Q: If for one night you could be invited to cook alongside any Chef past or present who would that be and why?
A: I would love to cook with Massimo Bottura. I think he is so creative. From what I’ve seen of him I imagine he would be great fun to work alongside and a lot to learn from him.
My Favourite Tables – Restaurants I have visited several times and why?
Restaurant (1): The Westwood Restaurant, Beverley. Never had a bad meal. Service is always on point and food great.
Restaurant (2): Tapasay, I am a massive fan of Indian food and it’s hard to get a good representation of it in our area. These guys smash it.
|Address:||The Old House Hull|
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