A chance work-experience job in the kitchens of a Newcastle hotel set Chris on a rapid career through fine-dining restaurants and, in 2018, to become Head Chef at St Mary’s Inn. It hadn’t been his career plan as a 16-year-old but, having discovered an unexpected talent for cooking and completed his training, he set about gathering experience in as many kitchens as possible including the three-AA-rosette Fisherman’s Lodge in Newcastle and the Michelin-starred Northcote in Lancashire. In the latter, he was promoted to junior sous-chef within a year; some days he had full responsibility for running the kitchen.
Returning to the north-east with his new wife, he helped set up a wedding venue, Healey Barn at Riding Mill. Once successful, he began looking for a new challenge just as St Mary’s Inn was looking for a Head Chef to oversee its re-opening. Impressed by its modern kitchen, Chris aims to produce ‘honest pub food with style’, and run a kitchen where everyone is encouraged to contribute ideas.
In the rare hours when not working Chris loves watching sport – from darts to golf – and, of course, eating out.
Little-known fact: Chris is a keen, and mean, poker player.ROBIN FREER PETER CANDLER