An interview with the Chef - Craig Tyrrell
I love working with fresh seasonal ingredients, inspired by what the new seasons have to offer us. I like to use a range of traditional and modern techniques in my cooking, concentrating on emphasising the flavour of each ingredient.
My passion started from when I was a young boy helping my father in the garden. Raising small seedlings to plants which would provide us food. One of my earliest memories is picking runner beans for Sunday lunch, helping to prepare them by removing the string and then cooking them quickly in boiling water to retain their fresh green colour and delicate flavour.
From here my curiosity grew, helping my mother bake cakes and other sweet treats and assisting in creating great gatherings around our brick built barbeque in the summer where the whole street would attend bringing food, (and drink of course).
Another fond memory of my early cooking years comes from the many holidays we enjoyed on the North Yorkshire coast. My sister and I would race along the beach, collecting driftwood, before setting up "camp". Here, we assisted in the building of a campfire, before cooking sausages for lunch. The smell of the smoky fire drifting along the beach for miles, high up to the cliff tops, the spitting fat of the sausages adding to the enjoyment as we waited. Coupled with the fresh smell of the sea and the breeze in our faces made this an amazing food memory.
From here my love for food and my eagerness to join in the world of the kitchen grew. At the age of 13, I was helping out in the kitchen of my mum's pub, learning as much as I could from my mum and her experienced head chef. I had found my passion and interest in food from this young age and from here I knew I wanted to go on the culinary journey of being a chef.
After my school years I joined High peak college, part of the University of Derby. I trained for three years gaining many qualifications along the way. I enjoyed learning new techniques, methods and ingredients. My passion for selecting great ingredients grew the more I learned about the delicate processes involved in preparing them and serving them to customers. And so I ventured off into the exciting, creative and often brutal world of being a cook. Even at this young, naive age I knew I wanted my own restaurant, somewhere I could create dishes and serve them to food loving people. But first I had to learn how to be a cook, a chef, a manager and how to run a business.
After spending some time in hotels and restaurants in my local area I grew hungry to travel a little. Spain became my home for two years of gastronomical learning. It was here I grew my strengths of service, pushing myself every day to learn more and become stronger, quicker and more organised through the fast paced environment.
I was now in my early 20's and I was hungry to push up the ladder, I wanted to learn more and become a better all-round cook. I came back to England to work in a large hotel. I started at the bottom of the ladder again, working harder each day to progress up the ranks. It was here that I honed my patisserie skills spending 2 years in the pastry kitchen. After 4 years I had become the hotel's Sous chef. I relished the challenges given to me, particularly training junior chefs. Sharing my knowledge, techniques and recipes to young cooks and seeing them develop into more competent chefs gave me great satisfaction.
Soon my ambitions grew to running my own kitchen and soon I took on my first Head Chef job. I faced many challenges along the way during the next few years of my career. I have helped set up a new restaurant, helped to develop many young people into aspiring chefs, improved environmental health ratings and in 2014 achieved a rosette for culinary excellence, an achievement that I and my team were extremely proud of.
This culinary journey, (so far), has taken me to different countries, seeing, smelling and tasting a range of beautiful foods. I have met a lot of influential people who have guided me through my career and on the path of exploration and discovery.
And so now, a new path has opened on this exciting journey - the opportunity to realise my dream and open up my own restaurant. The chance to finally put into action what I have been working hard for since I was a young boy.
Am I ready for this new challenge? Yes, I am. I am a passionate chef who is dedicated to providing a high quality product and delivering exceptional standards of service. I have a great team behind me, all of whom are equally ambitious in creating an amazing product for all to enjoy.
I hope that you will join me on this culinary journey and sample some great memories and experiences.