Pearls of Wisdom: Andrew Pern

By Joe Lutrario

- Last updated on GMT

Andrew Pern, chef/proprietor at The Star Inn at Harome
Andrew Pern, chef/proprietor at The Star Inn at Harome
Yorkshire-born and bred, Pern won a Roux scholarship prior to opening The Star Inn at Harome in 1996, aged just 25. Currently the Morning Advertiser’s Gastropub of the Year, it has held a Michelin star for 10 years.

My approach to cooking is relaxed and regional. ​North-country dishes with a sense of place, ccasionally given a modern twist. Michelin describes it as “Yorkshire with French influences”.

I cooked from an early age.​ My mum got MS when I was eight, so I did a lot for her. My first proper kitchen job was in a country house hotel called The Milburn Arms.

The Star is first and foremost a local pub. ​In the car park, there are tractors parked next to brand new Aston Martins.

Getting staff is not much of a problem for us, despite the remote location.​ Lots of people want to work for us; from young lads from the village right through to city-based chefs who are after a change of pace.

I hope at least one of my kids follows me into the business.​ If all four do, we could run the restaurant together. I’ve thought it all through: one front of house, one on reception and two in the kitchen.

I wasn’t taught by anyone,​ but I cook with passion. My food has a real sense of terroir about it.

We try and avoid the extra bits at The Star,​ such as canapés and amuse bouches. It’s got to remain a pub. It can’t be too fancy or it turns into a restaurant. You’ve got to think about the locals who have supported us from day one. I haven’t upset anyone yet, to my knowledge.

There is money in cookbooks​, especially if you self-publish. It’s good for building The Star brand, too.

I was among the first UK chefs to get a Michelin star cooking in a pub​. It’s a very good thing that we now have 10 pubs with stars – it’s a far more relaxed way of dining that most UK people get. You really feel like you can kick back and read a paper.

I’m in the process of writing a third book​. The first two have been about my cooking at The Star, but this book will be more about kids’ food.

I love cooking.​ It’s a hobby to me – it’s lucky I can make a living out of it too.

I didn’t work in many places​, I just got on with it.

It’s a great vibe at The Star​. We get a good mixture of locals and destination diners, and even the odd celebrity too.

I’ve been watching some of The Trip on BBC Two​. It’s a good show, but I wish they had come here. Hopefully there will be a second series.

Many of my boys have gone on to do well themselves​, including James Mackenzie at the Pipe and Glass in Beverley, East Yorkshire, and Charlie Lakin at The Marquis at Alkham, Kent, who has just got a well-deserved rising-star rating.

We run a little shop next to The Star.​ People call it the Harrods of Harome, but we sell basic stuff like baked beans, too.

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