Meet the chef - Stuart Thomson, Harvey Nichols, Manchester
PUBLISHED: 17:27 03 November 2011 | UPDATED: 20:14 20 February 2013
Stuart Thomson is Head Chef of The Second Floor Restaurant, Harvey Nichols Manchester.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
When did you first get interested in cooking?Ever since I was a child my dad taught me to appreciate food, through offering a range of produce which gave me the chance to experiment from a very young age. My grandparents also played a part in interesting me, as they were big cooks and always involved me in cooking with my grandfathers home-grown vegetables.
How did you get started as a chef?
I started washing dishes in my local pub as a weekend job. I then went to college and completed work experience in a hotel, which is where I found my true passion for cooking and as they say the rest is history!
What is your signature dish?
I dont necessarily have a signature dish. To me, it is more about the style of food that I am known for. I like to experiment with textures and temperatures to create a traditional yet modern and stylish dish.
If there was anyone in the world you would like to cook for, who would it be?
Roger Daltrey or Pete Townshend from The Who...to me they are legends.What do you eat at home?Whatever my Mrs cooks for me. In total honesty I enjoy being around the family, and having a Sunday roast. I get pleasure from the experience of sitting down with the family.
What is the kitchen ingredient no one should be with out?
Equipment, in particular a spoon. I am a believer of tasting a dish in order to perfect it. Having the ability to learn from a mistake is also indispensable in order to be capable to produce exquisite food confidently and comfortably. Everyone makes mistakes; the key is to learn from them.
If you could dine at any restaurant in the world where would it be?
Michel Bras in France. Im a huge fan of him because of his attitude to cooking. His food style and philosophy is inspiring as he achieves an elegant look and feel to the dish he creates yet uses local produce in its most natural form.
What would you eat for your last meal?
I am a real fish man, ever since I was young so it would have to be fresh Scottish Langoustine.Favourite music to cook by?In The Second Floor Restaurant we dont cook to music, but at home I vary my music choices from The Chemical Brothers and Kasabian depending on the dish, the mood and the occasion.
What do you do to relax?
Being on the motorbike on the openroads is my way of relaxing and takingtime out for me.
What shall we expect from Harvey Nichols Restaurant this Christmas?
This year in The Second Floor Brasserie we have listened to our customers and aimed to put a twist on the traditional Christmas affair by using seasonal and regional ingredients in the dishes with a fusion inspired difference. In The Second Floor Restaurant we endeavour too find the best local yet seasonal produce and use them in our dishes.
Stuart Thomson is Head Chef of The Second Floor Restaurant, Harvey Nichols Manchester