10 minutes with: Andrew Pern, chef patron, The Star Inn The Harbour

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 22nd September 2017

Andrew Pern has just opened his fourth restaurant to run alongside his ever-growing restaurant empire. His new restaurant called The Star Inn The Harbour recently opened in the seaside town of Whitby.

The Staff Canteen spoke to the Michelin starred chef about the opening of The Star Inn The Harbour, maintaining several successful restaurants and possible future plans.

The Star Inn The Harbour
The Star Inn The Harbour

The Star Inn The Harbour

Having three other successful restaurants under his belt, Michelin-starred The Star Inn at Harome, Mr P’s Curious Tavern and The Star Inn The City, both in York; means Andrew knows a lot about the industry and the right time to invest in new ventures.

“It wasn’t premeditated," he explained. "We learnt that the former Tourist Information Centre building was to become available and it was too good a chance to miss with its fabulous location, The Star Inn The City team were all behind it and also it's in my hometown!”

When going on to talk about the pressure of opening and succeeding with his restaurants he said a lot of his success was down to his staff and the community he’s built within his many restaurants. Opening different establishments has given him the ability to offer his staff the chance to grow within the business allowing them to have more responsibility and expand their own careers whilst feeling the safety net of The Star Inn brand.

When asked what he hopes to achieve with the new restaurant the chef replied, “first and foremost, a busy, thriving business using, wherever possible, local staff and local producers for local people. The standard is getting better all of the time, as our former sous chef from Harome, Matt Leivers, is striving to improve the offer day on day. The awards will come with high standards achieved consistently.”

Food style

The ability to have restaurants in different areas has helped Andrew explore many styles and types of foods. His new business, The Star Inn The Harbour offers a relaxed seaside menu which will change according to the season and use local produce as much as possible. Within the menu are “a few old school retro dishes” which acknowledge the classical French cuisine that Andrew was taught in his early Scarborough college years. He also emphasised the importance of having an ice cream parlour located within the restaurant, because you can’t go to the seaside without indulging in an ice cream!

John Dory Salt n Pepper Squid

John Dory with Salt n Pepper

Squid

He goes on to explain the restaurant he cooks most regularly at is The Star Inn Harome, adding it will always be the heartbeat of all the restaurants. But every now and again he cooks for others at different establishments for events including special Michelin evenings, game dinners and charity events including the RNLI annual dinner. When asked if he misses working in one kitchen cooking all day he reveals having worked almost every day in a kitchen for the past 30 years, he’s now got to the point where he can take an outside look and see things from a customers and restauranteurs point of view. Seeing the bigger picture enables him to grow his businesses and teams to be better, stronger and keep in time with the world around him. He goes on to say that he hopes later in life he’ll gravitate back towards the kitchen as that’s where he feels most at home and at his happiest.

Key to success

The key to his success is promoting his staff, some of which have been part of his team for the past 21 years suggesting that they all know how he likes things done and understand what both him and his brand are about. By promoting internally he says it gives a “personal feel and level of service and food that fits the establishment.” Andrew emphasises how important it is to have good staff around him and people who genuinely want to be there. He’s a big believer in team spirit and tries to instil that into each member of his team.

Future Plans

In terms of the future, Andrew hopes to one day open more restaurants so he can keep hold of his staff and give them the opportunity for some ownership. Maintaining that this is the way he has stayed successful and kept so many of his team members. He also didn’t rule out the idea of opening a restaurant abroad suggesting that it could be an exciting venture for his company.

By Charlotte Slaney

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 22nd September 2017

10 minutes with: Andrew Pern, chef patron, The Star Inn The Harbour