A Friday Chat With Searcys Chef-Manager, Stuart Elliot29 January 2021
What attracted you to hospitality in the first place?
I have been in the hospitality industry since leaving school, from a young age food has always inspired me. I always knew that a life in hospitality and working in kitchens was my calling; it is what gets me out of bed in the morning. It is more than just a job; it is a lifestyle, a passion and a part of me.
What drives you?
I remember working for a great chef many years ago and above the door to the kitchen was a big wooden plaque, written on this was ‘’for perfection we strive.’’ I have carried that ethos through my career. Trying to reach that level of perfection would not be possible without the quality produce we use.
We are so lucky to have and work with some great suppliers and producers of quality food products here in Britain. When deliveries arrive into the kitchen in the morning you can see the minds of the chefs working, smiles on their faces, thankful for the opportunity to work with this amazing produce.
At Searcys, we have so many artisan producers working every day with that very same ethos. The passion and attention to detail from these people is also what inspires me. Surrounding yourself with positive and likeminded people is equally key.
How do you manage to stay positive throughout the lockdowns?
The lockdown has been a time when I have been improving in areas that you would not always have time to work on in the kitchen. I have always really enjoyed baking bread, so during the lockdown, I took the opportunity to refine and better my knowledge of baking. From making croissants with my children to baking sourdough loaves that I would offer to the people in the neighbourhood who would otherwise be struggling. This quickly expanded to cooking meals for some of my elderly neighbours that I would deliver for them.
We hear you have been cooking on camera. Please tell us about it.
A first and something I did not imagine I would find myself doing was live cook-along on zoom. It started with some friends on a WhatsApp group called ‘’Lockdown Cooking’’, where we would post pictures and share what we were planning to cook to help inspire each other.
This then evolved into a bi-weekly cook along. The group would decide what they would like to cook at the beginning of the week, I would get the recipe and shopping list sent out and every second Friday we would spend a couple of hours cooking, chatting and having a glass of wine.
What are you most looking forward to in 2021?
I am really missing the professional kitchen and looking forward to getting back to what we do best, bringing in some new inspirational recipes, looking after our amazing customers and putting a smile on people’s faces through food and hospitality.