Pearls of Wisdom

Pearls of Wisdom

Some of the biggest names in the industry including chefs, restaurateurs, hoteliers, and publicans reveal their thoughts on life, career and hospitality.

Alan Bird, whose restaurant Bird of Smithfield will open in London next month

Alan Bird: Pearls of Wisdom

By Emma Eversham

Alan Bird was chef at the Ivy for 19 years before going on to work with the Soho House Group. His first restaurant Bird of Smithfield, a five-storey bar, restaurant and events space, is due to open its doors at the end of March in Smithfields, London. 

Daniel Clifford, chef-patron of Midsummer House in Cambridge said Marco Pierre White was a massive influence on him

Daniel Clifford: Pearls of Wisdom

By William Drew

The Kent-born chef-patron has held two Michelin stars at Midsummer House in Cambridge for the past eight years. He was also one of the winners of last year’s Great British Menu.

Aiden Byrne, chef-owner of The Church Green and head chef of Aiden Byrne at Craxton Wood, is opening a new restaurant in Manchester this year

Aiden Byrne: Pearls of Wisdom

By Peter Ruddick

Liverpool-born chef Aiden Byrne is as recognisable to TV viewers, due to appearances on Great British Menu, as he is to the diners at his Cheshire restaurant The Church Green. However this year Byrne is also targeting recognition from the Michelin Guide.

Tim Hughes, chef-director at Caprice Holdings

Tim Hughes: Pearls of Wisdom

By Stefan Chomka

The chef-director at Caprice Holdings oversees the food at some of London's most prestigious restaurants, including Le Caprice, The Ivy and Scott's. He has just written his first cookbook, J Sheekey Fish. 

Russell Norman, owner of Polpo, is planning more restaurants for London next year

Russell Norman: Pearls of Wisdom

By Stefan Chomka

The former ops director of Caprice Holdings turned London restaurateur recently opened a third Polpo, his take on a Venetian bàcaro. Plans are under way for three central London sites, in Soho, theatreland and by the river, as well as a new incarnation...

José Pizarro opened Pizarro restaurant nearby to his tapas bar in Bermondsey a year ago this month

José Pizarro: Pearls of Wisdom

By Luke Nicholls

World-renowned chef José Pizarro is seen by many as 'the godfather of Spanish cuisine'. Having grown up in the region of Extremadura in western Spain, Pizarro moved to the UK 14 years ago, becoming chef-partner of Spanish food chain Brindisa...

Robert Cook, chief executive of De Vere Hotels and De Vere Village Urban Resorts

Robert Cook: Pearls of Wisdom

By Peter Ruddick

Robert Cook, chief executive of De Vere Village Urban Resorts and now De Vere Hotels, is the son of a hotelier and was born into the hospitality industry. A restaurant lover, Cook worked for IHG and in Monte Carlo before joining Malmaison, rising to chief...

Skye Gyngell, now culinary director at Heckfield Place, which is due to open next March

Skye Gyngell: Pearls of Wisdom

By Stefan Chomka

The Australian-born former head chef of Petersham Nurseries in Richmond, London, is now culinary director of Heckfield Place, a country-house hotel, which opens in Hampshire in March 2013. She is also set to open a new London restaurant next year.

Marco Pierre White, who you won't find in a commercial kitchen or on Twitter

Marco Pierre White: Pearls of Wisdom

By Emma Eversham

Once the holder of three Michelin stars, legendary chef Marco Pierre White is now a regular face on TV, fronting shows such as Hell's Kitchen and Kitchen Wars and is the owner of eight pubs under the Wheeler's of St James name. He also co-owns...

David Everitt-Matthias, who has never missed a service at his restaurant in 25 years

David Everitt-Matthias: Pearls of Wisdom

By William Drew

The notoriously dedicated chef – a long-time proponent of foraging and ingredient experimentation – is celebrating 25 years at his two-star Cheltenham restaurant Le Champignon Sauvage, which he runs with wife Helen.

Lionel Chatard, general manager at Middlethorpe Hall which last week won the Best Service award in's Best Kept Secret Awards

Lionel Chatard: Pearls of Wisdom

By Emma Eversham

Lionel Chatard is general manager of Middlethorpe Hall in Yorkshire, a National Trust hotel. The 40-year-old Frenchman worked at Claridge's and The Cadogan hotels in London before moving to his current role. He is also chair of the York Hotelier...

Alvin Leung, who will open a restaurant in Mayfair, his first in the UK, later this year

Alvin Leung: Pearls of Wisdom

By Stefan Chomka

The chef-patron of two-Michelin-starred Bo Innovation in Hong Kong and self-styled ‘Demon Chef’ is launching a sibling restaurant, Bo London, in Mayfair later this year.

John Keating, who just recently became managing director at Cameron House Loch Lomond De Vere

John Keating: Pearls of Wisdom

By Emma Eversham

Irish-born John Keating has been in the hospitality industry for more than 20 years, having worked in hotels and resorts all over the world, including The Ritz in London, Mercantile Club Taiwan CCA, Monolith Club Moscow CCA and Sandals Emerald Bay in...

Danny Meyer

Danny Meyer: Pearls of Wisdom

By William Drew

Founder of the Union Square Hospitality Group (USHG), which includes Gramercy Tavern, Blue Smoke and Shake Shack among its number, legendary New York restaurateur Danny Meyer also penned the seminal book on hospitality, Setting the Table. 

Khun Patara Sila-On founded her restaurant business in 1973 and, as well as four sites in the UK, S&P now boasts the world’s largest group of full-service Thai restaurants

Khun Patara Sila-On: Pearls of Wisdom

By Peter Ruddick

Thai restaurateur, chef and TV cook Khun Patara Sila-On founded her first restaurant in Bangkok in 1973. Since then the S&P syndicate global restaurant, bakery and frozen business she created has opened hundreds including her first in the UK in 1990.

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