1 Michelin Star Chefs: Bruce Poole, co-owner, Chez Bruce

The  Staff Canteen

Bruce Poole is the chef and co-owner of the one Michelin starred, Chez Bruce in Wandsworth Common, London.

Chef Bruce Poole was born in Guildford, Surrey in 1964. While today he has three successful, award-winning restaurants, becoming a chef didn’t occur to Bruce until he was in his mid-twenties.

Chez Bruce

Chez Bruce
Chez Bruce

2 Bellevue Rd, London SW17 7EG

Website: www.chezbruce.co.uk
Tel: 020 8672 0114
Email: [email protected]

Opening hours: Lunch Monday to Friday, 12pm to 2:30pm, Saturday and Sunday 12pm to 3pm; Dinner Monday to Thursday 6:30pm to 10pm, Friday and Saturday 6:30pm to 10:30pm, Sunday 6:30 to 9:30pm

Head chef: Matt Christmas
Restaurant manager: Alejandro Diez
Head sommelier: Charles Pashby-Taylor

Facebook: Chez Bruce
Twitter: @ChezBruce
Instagram: @chez.bruce

Biography

French food however, had been a love of his from a young age. Long family caravanning holidays to various locations in Europe provided Bruce with a variety of different food experiences. France, a personal favourite, provided memories of eating rabbit, snails, frogs’ legs, and other cuisines which would be the basis of Bruce’s style of cooking.

Bruce Poole
Bruce Poole

He attended Exeter University where he achieved his degree in History. During his time at University, he started to develop an interest in cooking. After experimenting and improving his cooking skills at University, Bruce attended Westminster Hotel and Catering College, where his skills gradually developed further.

He undertook a one year hotel management course and soon after became a trainee manager with the hotel group, Stakis. After a year and a half working in hotels he decided that in one of the top restaurants in London was where he wanted to be.

Bibendum and The Square

At the age of 25, Bruce wrote letters to what he considered to be the ten best restaurants in London, asking for a job as a chef. Simon Hopkinson gave him his first kitchen job as a response to his letter. Initially, restaurant life was an adjustment, having little experience of kitchen work previously, but he soon found his culinary feet. After spending two years at Bidendum, he worked at The Square with Phil Howard.

Harvey’s

A year after starting at The Square, Bruce moved on to Chez Max in Fulham. Here, he filled the role of sous chef and rose to head chef, running the kitchen. It was during his time here that he was approached by restaurateur Nigel Platts-Martin. He owned a restaurant called Harvey’s in Wandsworth which had been successful and won two Michelin stars under Marco Pierre White in the 1980s. He suggested that Bruce run the whole restaurant.

Chez Bruce

In 1995, the revamped and newly named, Chez Bruce opened to rave reviews. In 1999, the restaurant achieved its first Michelin star. Following this success and many awards, the team of Bruce Poole and Nigel Platts-Martin opened two more restaurants to add to their London-based group. The Glasshouse in Kew, opened in 1999 and La Trompette in Chiswick opened in 2001. Both restaurants went on to gain Michelin stars in 2002 and 2008 respectively.

Middle white pork pie
Middle white pork pie

Food style

Bruce describes his style as refined brasserie. Each of the restaurants pride themselves on exceptional, delicious, modest cuisine with a strong French influence. Highlights include a quality crème brûlée; carefully considered cheese boards; and a spectacular selection of wine. It’s a mixture of fine dining and French comfort food; classic, precise and refined yet simple, down-to-earth and generally not “showy”.

Other interests

In 2011, Bruce released his first cookbook, titled “Bruce’s Cookbook”. Recipes demonstrate the timeless cooking Poole is known for. Recipes include boeuf bourgignon with parsnip purée; chocolate soufflé; and potato gnocchi with butter, wilted sage and parmesan.

Videos with Bruce Poole:

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 13th November 2017

1 Michelin Star Chefs: Bruce Poole, co-owner, Chez Bruce