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Jon Harvey-Barnes, Essentials Chef of the Month

Jon Harvey-Barnes, Essentials Chef of the Month

19th March 2019

Jon Harvey-Barnes

There are few development chefs working in foodservice today that are as passionate, well-travelled and universally well liked as Jon. This gregarious Midlander started kitchen life under the tutelage of the highly respected John Williams MBE at Claridge’s in Mayfair, a chef he credits for helping develop his skills and shape his love for professional kitchen life.

After five years at Claridge’s, and a further 22 cooking in AA Rosette country house hotels, majoring in banqueting and event catering, Jon eventually swapped his whites for the blues of Essential Cuisine. Over the past seven years, under the guidance of founder Nigel Crane – another chef he credits as being key to his development – Jon has been instrumental in driving the company’s reputation for innovation.

He now works as part of a team of three business development chefs, dedicated to inspiring customers, helping them create menu solutions that push the company’s class leading range to its fullest. He also works tirelessly to help bring on the next generation of chefs, mentoring schools in his local area, while playing a pivotal role in the annual Essential Cuisine-sponsored North West Young Chef competition.

Team nickname?
JTC. John the Chef.

Dish you would cook for the rest of the brigade?
Lobster Thermidor. That’s my signature dish.

The kitchen’s on fire, what’s the first thing you take?
The team. You save your buddies.

Greatest meal of your life
Gordon Ramsay restaurant at Claridge’s

Biggest issue affecting the industry? And what can be done?
The skills shortage. As an industry, we need to put more effort into recruiting young people and then retaining them.

Karaoke choice?
Smell’s Like Teen Spirit by Nirvana. I’ve done that several times.

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