Henry Harris is head chef and a partner of the recently opened and very well reviewed Racine restaurant in London's Brompton Road.
Henry's career began front of house, working in his father's "Le Grandgousier" restaurant in Brighton during school holidays in the late 70's. His first job was as commis waiter in the town's sea front Old Ship Hotel, but it was the opportunity to observe chef Karl Loderer in the kitchen whilst waiting tables at the 1 Michelin starred Manleys in Storrington Sussex that ultimately inspired Harris to learn cook.
During 1983-1984 he obtained a diploma with merit at Leith's School of Food and Wine, and whilst there was introduced to chef Simon Hopkinson, an event he describes as "a defining moment in my life".
An apprenticeship at Hilaire in South Kensington under Hopkinson followed. He achieved the rank of Sous Chef six months before leaving the restaurant in 1987 for a sojourn in California, eating in many restaurants of the Bay Area of San Francisco, and working briefly at "Chez Panisse".
Later that same year, Henry was back in London, reunited with Hopkinson, this time as his Sous Chef at the legendary Bibendum restaurant.
During the period 1992-2000, Henry firmly established his reputation as a leading practioner of the eclectic "Modern British" style as Executive Chef, Fifth Floor Restaurant, Cafe & Bar, Harvey Nichols. Starting nine months before The Fifth Floor opened, Henry designed and set up the kitchens for the restaurant, going on to establish it as a destination in its own right, garnering awards and recognition in the process. It was on the strength of this success that Harvey Nichols were able to expand their restaurant portfolio.
The Fifth Floor was also home to The Foodmarket where Harris worked with the department buyers on the development and marketing of own label retail food brands.
In 2000, Henry was headhunted and took the position as Chef of "hush" in Mayfair, where he was tasked with raising the standards of cooking and overseeing the opening and development of three private dining rooms on the top floor before working on the expansion of the company to other sites.
Henry has also developed a supporting career as a food writer.
Below is his current entry in the Directory of the Guild of Food Writers:
JOB TITLE (S);
Food, cookery and restaurant writer, TV presenter, demonstrator
Harper's and Queen
Harvey Nichols Magazine
Black Sheep Brewery Quarterly
Caterer and Hotelkeeper
The Times, Weekend (recipes, features, restaurant reviews and product testing)
Thoroughly Modern British (26 part series for Carlton)
Ainsley's Gourmet Express
Network Food Daily
Great Chefs of Europe
Food for Thought
Harvey Nichols Fifth Floor Cookbook, with Hugo Arnold (4th Estate)
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