All this is the result of a long journey, both in terms of geography and learning about the world of food. Chris was brought up on an isolated farm in the North island of New Zealand. From a very early age he had to learn where food really comes from. He was milking cows, making bread, growing vegetables and helping his mother and grandmother cook food for the family as a tot. They were as self sufficient as it was possible to be.
As a young adult he moved to Hamilton and realised that his cooking skills could stand him in good stead for the future, so he took a three year cookery course, eventually winning the New Zealand Trade Board’s Swiss Scholarship. During his two years inSwitzerlandhe honed his skills at the Michellin starred level, at the hotel Hirschen onLakeZurichand a top rated hotel inBern. So by now he was thoroughly grounded in classic cooking.
He moved to London, cooking at Frederick’s restaurant in Islington for two years, before moving to Southwold in Suffolk, where for eight years he ran the kitchens of those two well known Adnams hotels, the Crown and the Swan. By 2003 he was experienced enough to open his own establishments, and he now owns and runs the 400 year old coaching inn The Crown Hotel in Wells-Next-The-Sea, a wonderful location in Norfolk, and The Randolph in Reydon, Suffolk. Chris is a firm believer in sustainable food and his menus combine modern British dishes with inspirations picked up while travelling from New Zealandto Britain, via Asia. He features seafood heavily and his menu changes daily depending on what is currently available.
Chris was talent spotted during a public cookery demonstration and in 2006 filmed Coastal Kitchen. 2007 saw Chris back filming another ten programmes of Coastal Kitchen, this time for series 4.
Chris has also filmed Eating for Britain for Channel 4 and Market Kitchen (UKTV). 2009 has seen Chris busy filming his amazing adventure in Greenland – he was invited by Greenland’s tourist board as the chef they wanted to explore the country’s extraordinary resources and dramatic landscapes.
He lives in Wells-Next-The-Sea with his wife Jo and their two children, Lily and Maximus.