To Dean Clough for a sneak preview of the soon-to-be-unveiled glitzy Fourth Floor Cafe and Bar at Harvey Nichols. I thought we were being treated to a masterclass by Head Chef Paul Cunliffe but in fact we were cooking. Belly pork with scallops, black pudding balls, cauliflower puree and pakora. Are you kidding?
They weren’t kidding but we did have Paul demo-ing out front (aided by student Jordan Magras) and a very good tutor he is too. Calm, cheerful and encouraging, there was no ‘yes chef!’ malarkey (though I suspect it might be different in his kitchen) and I produced a passable plate of food. I know!
The Cooking School sous chefs did what they always do; that is be invisible and background until you need them, when they’re silently on your shoulder, gently steering you towards success. Jordan is one of TCS apprentices serving time with Paul at HN – and it’s clearly working, he’s grown in confidence in a matter of months and the signs suggest he’ll make one great chef.
A handful of suppliers were there, including Anna Longthorp who told us about her Happy Trotters and Simon Jones from Hodgson Fish talking about sustainability. Two cool Harvey Nicks dudes revealed the swanky new restaurant design. We’ve got to wait a week or two to sit down and eat there but I like the look of the new menu. Watch this space.
Oh, and huge thanks to our talented photographer friend Joan Ransley for her fabulous image of Paul.