Called the National Restaurant Awards Sessions in partnership with Barcelona’s leading beer brand Estrella Damm, chefs in the video series include leading seafood chef and restaurateur Nathan Outlaw; Darjeeling Express founder Asma Khan; and Stephen Harris, chef-patron of The Sportsman in Kent.
Other chefs and restaurateurs who will feature in the special five-part video series are: Liz Cottam, co-founder of Home in Leeds, José Pizarro, founder of the Jose Pizarro group of Spanish restaurants and pubs; Cornerstone chef-patron Tom Brown; Casamia and Decimo chef-patron Peter Sanchez-Iglesias; Carters of Moseley chef-patron Brad Carter; and Gareth Ward of Ynyshir restaurant with rooms.
The series kicks off with Stephen Harris, chef-patron at The Sportsman in Seasalter, Kent, a former Best Restaurant in the UK.
Focusing on sustainability, the video shows how Harris has pioneered the concept of terroir in the UK, keeping things local and extending his kitchen garden.
Harris – who took on the North Kent pub back in 1999 – also talks about legacy and the possibility of the pub one day becoming a cooperative.
Liz Cottam, co-owner of Leeds fine dining restaurant Home as well as gastropub The Owl in Kirkgate Market, talks about how the imposed lockdown has given her the opportunity to change the approach at her restaurants and the way her foods looks.
She describes how the time being closed allowed her to connect more with the artistic process behind creating dishes and be less restrained by time.
Spanish chef and restaurateur José Pizarro talks about the future of his restaurant group, which comprises a number of Spanish restaurants as well as a pub in Esher, and what he hopes to achieve in a post pandemic world.
Nathan Outlaw, the UK’s greatest fish cook, reveals the thinking behind relaunching his flagship restaurant as a more inclusive and accessible a la carte destination and what that means for both diners and his long-serving team. Outlaw also discusses work/life balance and how the launch of Outlaw’s New Road will allow him to champion more seafood from Cornish waters.
Asma Khan, founder of the hugely successful Darjeeling Express in London’s Carnaby, describes the soon-to-open new incarnation of the restaurant in Covent Garden. Aswell as talking about her plans for the restaurant, including why she wants it to serve one of the most expensive tasting menus in the capital, Khan also discusses overcoming diversity and how she is creating a mentoring school at her restaurant to help create a new generation of female leaders.
The series concludes with a lively discussion between Cornerstone founder Tom Brown, Ynyshir’s Gareth Ward, Casamia and Decimo chef Peter Sanchez-Iglesias, and Carters of Mosely chef-patron Brad Carter on their attempts to make fine dining more fun and less informal – and why, in these difficult times, it is more important than ever before for people to enjoy themselves when embarking on a high-end gastronomic experience.
The first NRA Sessions video, featuring The Sportsman’s Stephen Harris, will be published on BigHospitality and National Restaurant Awards channels on Monday 26 October