We were lucky enough to steal Brasserie Head Chef Matthew Horsfield out of the kitchen to find out a bit more about his history, personality and culinary tips.
What inspired you to become a chef?
Eating, I love to eat. Sitting down for a family meal is the highlight of my day. I was brought up on home grown vegetables and local produce from in and around the Ribble Valley, which inspired me to want to cook and enjoy this amazing produce.
What do you think is your greatest achievement so far?
Discovering my own style of cooking. Through the freedom and support I have been given from Harvey Nichols I have experimented with a vast array of produce and equipment; also working with chefs from many different backgrounds has broadened my knowledge and developed the way I cook today.
What would be your dream meal on earth to eat and to cook?
My dream meal will be the first time I cook a meal with my newborn daughter and my wife. I have enjoyed so many meal times with my parents, so I’m really looking forward to trying new foods and discovering her food likes and dislikes. It will be nice for me to have three generations around my table.
What would you be doing if you were not a Chef?
This is a really difficult question! I would definitely still be working with food as it’s my passion in life, so I’d probably be a baker. Outside of the catering industry I would like to try commercial deep sea fishing.
Do you use any modern cooking techniques?
I would love to say I am a hardcore traditionalist, but new cooking techniques really have benefited us, such as sous vide for the slow cooking of larger cuts of meat. It means we can ensure that the meat reaches optimum quality through temperature control.
What is your favourite kitchen tip or piece of equipment?
My favourite kitchen tip is always changing because there are so many and we are learning all the time. We’re constantly trying to reinvent ourselves, but there are a few that will never change, keep tidy, be honest and don’t be scared to ask for help, first and foremost we are a team.
Do you like to cook at home or do you turn off when you leave the kitchen at work?
I love to cook at home, but I love it more when my wife cooks! My wife is Polish and was brought up in a Polish family restaurant so she’s been around food her whole life. Her recipes have developed over generations, so to be privy to this food and cooking is an enjoyable and educational experience! As a chef I think it is impossible to switch off, you are always looking for that next dish or ingredient to better your menu.
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