“In the future I hope to own my very own Michelin starred pub. I want to be able to welcome customers in to really enjoy my food, and feel comfortable and relaxed in their surroundings,” said Connor Black, Demi Chef de Partie, at the two- Michelin starred Hand and Flowers gastro pub in Marlow.
The 18-year old was initially encouraged to become a professional chef by watching his dad cook in the kitchen at home. The aspiring chef first gained experience in a restaurant kitchen on the Isle of White at the age of 13, before later achieving his Levels 1, 2, and 3 NVQ in Professional Cookery though an apprenticeship.
As a fan of the award-winning British food that Tom Kerridge produces, Connor carried out a work experience placement at the Hand and Flowers, and continued to work at the pub afterwards. Connor has now been at the pub for three years, and has the opportunity to input ideas to menu development.
“Tom challenged the team in the kitchen to create a soufflé recipe. The soufflé dish that I worked on and created was further developed by Tom and is now on the menu – it’s the Bitter Orange Soufflé with Sweet Toast Crumb, Cardamon Ice Cream and Citrus Syrup,” said Connor.
Connor described menu innovation as one of the most enjoyable aspect of being a chef. The teams’ ideas, techniques and recipes are shared in the kitchen and go on to become award-winning dishes.
“I get a real buzz when I serve guests of the Hand and Flowers at the bar. I enjoy seeing their reaction to dishes that I’ve helped to create, and definitely feel a sense of pride.
Pub Chef Passion visited the Hand and Flowers to meet the award-winning chefs. To find out more about the Hand and Flowers please visit: http://www.thehandandflowers.co.uk