NEW VIDEO: Chef to Watch: Jake Siddle, Chef Owner of Faru

The Staff Canteen

After making a name for himself at Kenny Atkinson’s Michelin-starred House of Tides, Jake Siddle, Chef Owner of Faru, is looking to continue building success with his incredible flavour-led menu, and his take on modern British cuisine.

Originally from Middlesbrough, Jake began his career in hospitality by enrolling in a college course after leaving school.

“When I left school, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do. I went to Middlesbrough college and took up a catering course. The first time when I went in and saw the training kitchen in the college, I just knew it would be such an interesting place to spend a career,” Jake said.

After leaving college, Jake worked as a kitchen porter at Rockcliffe Hall where he first met the hotel’s chef director Kenny Atkinson.

As a chef, who is still very young into his career, Jake has extensive experience working within a Michelin star environment, climbing up the ladder at Kenny’s House of Tides restaurant, becoming the restaurant’s head chef in 2018.

Describing how working in a Michelin-starred environment has influenced and shaped his style as a chef, Jake explained: “Me and my sous chef Liam we both worked with Kenny for such a long time in such a demanding and well-respected kitchen. The food was amazing at House of Tides, it’s something which is a part of our personality as a kitchen, with the food, and we’ll always strive to be the best.”

Kenny’s reputation as chef, as a restauranteur, and as a mentor is well known across the industry, with Jake being a shinning example of his success.

Discussing Kenny’s influence and how he’s inspired him, Jake said: “I’ve really not just grown as a chef under Kenny, but I’ve grown as my own person as well.”

Jake added: “I’ve worked with Kenny Atkinson for nearly ten, eleven years, and those were some great years working with him. He’s become more than just a mentor, he’s become a really good friend of ours, he came to mine and Laura’s wedding, and we really look up to him and respect him.”

In January 2023, after nine years of service at House of Tides, Jake and his wife Laura Siddle announced that they would be leaving the restaurant to start a new journey in the lives and open a place for themselves.

Three months later, Jake and Laura revealed the opening of their debut restaurant, Faru.

Opening Faru

Faru opened it’s doors to the public in April 2023 and has gone from strength to strength since then. Taking it’s name for the old English word for journey, Faru is located in the heart of Durham city centre, and decorated with beautiful stained-glass windows and breathtaking views of the River Wear. Explaining his reasoning for setting-up the restaurant in Durham, Jake revealed that the city was a perfect midpoint between his hometown of Middlesbrough and Newcastle.

“We opened up in Durham because we used to work in Newcastle and I’m from Middlesbrough, so it’s a bit of a halfway point between Newcastle and home for us. There’s also not too much in the fine dining scene in Durham.”

Jake added: “We thought it would be really good to bring a tasting menu to Durham and see what people think of it.”

Consisting of three front of house and four in the kitchen, including Jake himself, the team at Faru serve 28 covers Wednesday to Saturday evening, with additional lunch service on Saturday.

“Hospitality is a really good industry to get into. The people you have around you are unlike anyone else in any other industry. The people who you work with become your family, and you get such a good strong bond with the people around you,” Jake explained.

Describing Faru’s cooking style, Jake said: “Generally our menu is very seasonal, it’s very flavour-led, we always want to make sure the dishes deliver on flavour and that they’re well balanced, but we also like to stick to good produce that’s just really well cooked.”

Guests visiting Faru can expect dishes such as a Hen of the Woods, served with chive emulsion and a mushroom ketchup; and a Cherry Tea Parfait served with homemade pistachio ice cream.

The importance of seasonality

As a chef owner Jake’s focus at Faru is seasonality, giving the flavours of ingredients and produce the platform to shine.

Explaining the importance of seasonality, Jake said: “Serving the seasonal menu is really important because we’re picking the produce at the height of their season when it’s at it’s most perfect time to use. There’s such a difference for example of using strawberries in peak summer compared to using them in the spring, the flavour between them is completely different.”

He added: “By keeping things seasonal we’re making sure we’re using the produce at it’s best taste, best flavour, so we’re maximising the flavour that we can get out of it onto a dish as well.”

Plans for the future

Despite being a young chef with a long bright future on the horizon, Jake’s achievements are vast with Faru representing the next step in his progression from a chef to a restauranteur.

Describing how he found the switch from head chef to chef owner of Faru, Jake said: “Being the owner is very different from being the head chef. You’ve got to not just think about what’s going on in the kitchen but you also have the business to think about.”

Discussing how this shift is seen in his cooking, Jake added: “It was interesting to open up and to almost stick to what you know, the fundamentals of cooking, but also trying to create your own style of food. It’s something we’re always working on but I think we can very much see we have our personality and our own stamp on the food at the moment.”

Jake Siddle and Laura Siddle with the team at Faru Durham

With Faru still less than a year old, Jake’s priorities naturally are to establish his business and continue learning the ropes as a business owner, all the while as the venture grows amongst diners and guests.

Discussing his focus from the both food and business side, Jake said: “Being an owner now makes me look at food in a different way. We will always cook with food that we enjoy, food that we’re passionate about, food that makes us excited to come into work. As an owner, I want to see my restaurant full now. There’s nothing better than cooking for a full restaurant, seeing loads of guest go away completely happy with their evening and what they’ve had.”

How to make it in hospitality?

After already accomplishing a lifetime’s worth of achievements in just over a decade, Jake explained that as a young chef it’s important to find the right place to start your career.

Jake explained: “As a young chef, it’s really important to find somewhere where you feel comfortable and you’re enjoying your work because if you’re not enjoying your work it’s a really hard industry to get into.”

As a professional who is learning everyday Jake stressed that young chefs need to make sure that they’re learning constantly and that they’re enjoying their work as a chef.

He added: “You’ve got to make sure whatever restaurant you’re working in, you enjoy who you work with and that you’re learning constantly, because you can take so much in as a young chef, there’s so much to learn and so much to get from it.”


A post shared by Faru (@restaurantfaru)

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Editor 19th October 2023

NEW VIDEO: Chef to Watch: Jake Siddle, Chef Owner of Faru