1 Michelin Star Chefs: Fergus Henderson, chef and co-owner, St John

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 30th September 2017

Fergus Henderson is chef and co-owner of the one Michelin-starred St John restaurant.

Fergus Henderson originally studied architecture before he turned to cooking. Despite having no formal training, he and his wife Margot took over the Dining Room at The French House in Soho in 1992.

St John

st john 126 St John St, Clerkenwell, London EC1M 4AY

Opening hours: Lunch Monday to Friday 12.00 pm to 3.00 pm (Sunday 12.30 pm - 4.00 pm)

Supper Monday to Saturday 6.00 pm to 11.00 pm; Sunday evening closed

Telephone: 020 7251 0848

Website: https://www.stjohngroup.uk.com/

Email: [email protected]

Head chef: Johnathan Woolway 

General manager: Tom Wright

Facebook: St John Restaurant

Biography

The pair quickly earnt themselves a respectable reputation with local diners. St John Bar and Restaurant was opened in 1994 by chef Fergus Henderson, Trevor Gulliver and Jon Spiteri. The premises was formerly a bacon smokehouse. In 2014, Fergus received The Diners Club® Lifetime Achievement Award, as part of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants Awards. Fergus was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in 1998, which he underwent Deep Brain Stimulation therapy for. Due to the reduced mobility caused by the disease, Fergus has since retired from head chef duties but still plays an active role at St John.

fergus henderson image by John Carey

Fergus Henderson

image by John Carey

St John

When Fergus, Trevor and Jon found the abandoned Smithfields smokehouse, that would later become St John, it needed a lot of refurbishment. They installed a bar and a bakery in two of the chimneys, a dining room in the old packing rooms and a private dining room where the loading bay was. St John was awarded its first Michelin star in 2009, which it retains to this day and Fergus’ food style has even received praise from notable chefs including Anthony Bourdain, who calls St John ‘his favourite restaurant’.

‘Nose to Tail’

The restaurant offers what they affectionately term ‘nose to tail eating’, serving offal and many under-used cuts of meat. The menu showcases traditional British classics, with signature dishes like Liver, bacon and mash and a regular feature, Roast Bone Marrow and Parsley Salad. Menus are subject to change daily, often including specials with exciting new produce from farmers and suppliers.

Fergus published his first book Nose to Tail Eating: A Kind of British Cooking in 1999, which included recipes for trotters, kidneys and many other animal products usually considered to be waste. When asked about his food philosophy, Fergus told The Telegraph in 2004: “It seems common sense and even polite to the animal to use all of it. Rather than being testosterone-fuelled blood-lust, it actually seems to be a gentle approach to meat eating." He has since released two sequels – Beyond Nose to Tail in 2007, and The Complete Nose to Tail: A Kind of British Cooking in 2012.

Awards

Best British and Best overall London Restaurant at the 2001 Moet & Chandon Restaurant Award

The Diners Club® Lifetime Achievement Award, as part of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants Awards 2014

Videos by Fergus Henderson: 

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 30th September 2017

1 Michelin Star Chefs: Fergus Henderson, chef and co-owner, St John