1 Michelin Star Chefs: Sean Wrest, head chef, Roots

The  Staff Canteen

Sean Wrest is the head chef of Roots in York.

Sean's culinary career has seen him travel far and wide, but by coming home to Yorkshire he has been able to come into his own as celebrated chef Tommy Banks' right-hand man. 



68 Marygate, York YO30 7BH

Monday    Closed
Tuesday    Closed
Wednesday    Closed
Thursday    12–2:30pm, 6–7:30pm
Friday    12–2:30pm, 6–7:30pm
Saturday    12–2:30pm, 5–7:30pm
Sunday    12–2:30pm, 5–7:30pm

Website: https://www.rootsyork.com/

Reservations: https://www.exploretock.com/roots  

Twitter: @RootsYork

Instagram: @rootsyork

Facebook: @rootsrestaurantyork


Originally from Leyburn in Yorkshire, Sean was set to become a policeman when he fell in love with cooking. 

He attended college in Darlington, where he met his first mentor, Jonathan Harrison, 1993 Roux Scholar.

Jonathan took Sean to the scholarship in London every year, where the young chef met the likes of  Andrew FairlieSat BainsMichel Roux Jr., Albert Roux, and Alain Roux, and learned not to shy away from applying to work in the world's best kitchens.

Cod Cheeks, fermented honey,
smoked butter, pickled mussels 
Recipe here

After three years at the the Sandpiper Inn in Leyburn, Sean staged at The Fat Duck in Bray and at award-winning Oslo restaurant, Maaemo.

The chef then moved to The Black Swan as Tommy Banks' sous-chef until the decision was made to open Roots, where he was offered the top job.

Two years after the restaurant opened, it was awarded a star in the 2021 Michelin Guide for Great Britain and Ireland.

What the guides say...




The sister restaurant to The Black Swan at Oldstead was launched in what was once The Bay Horse, a public house dating back to the 19th century.

Thought up by the duo of chef Tommy Banks and restaurateur Matthew Lockwood, the restaurant was their bid to bring a taste of the chef's flagship to the city.

The food at Roots relies on produce grown on the Banks' family farm supplemented by that of local suppliers, using ancestral techniques to preserve and stretch ingredients to do them the best possible justice.

The name 'Roots' is a nod to the chef's origins in Oldstead,  likewise the menu mixes classical dishes from the restaurant with new ones, developed in partnership with the team.

The guide describes the dishes as "creative," "modern," "carefully prepared" and "deceptively simple to look at," singling out the three following dishes as the restaurant's specialities: "Cod cheek with fermented honey and pickled mussels (which you can watch the chef making here); pork, apple and onion; douglas Fir, lemon verbena and whey.

Upon visiting the restaurant, The Guardian critic Grace Dent said it was "another surefire hit" for Tommy Banks, "one of the loveliest lunches of 2018."

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 19th May 2021

1 Michelin Star Chefs: Sean Wrest, head chef, Roots