Food & Drink

In Conversation with Jarrold Executive Chef Nick Harris


He has cooked for HRH Queen Elizabeth, Kylie Minogue and Elton John – to name a few, he is passionate about using seasonal ingredients in his food as much as possible and he believes that food should be fun, we grabbed five minutes with our Executive Chef Nick Harris.

Smoked trout mousse with chargrilled gremolata toast. Photographer: Keiron Tovell.

“The food and drink offering here at Jarrold is a bit like a hotel – it’s a luxurious and homely place to visit and it has restaurants and cafes with menus that suit a variety of tastes,” says Nick Harris, Executive Chef at Jarrold.

From family carveries at The Pantry (Floor 3), to refined lunches and afternoon tea at Benji’s (Floor 1), to wood-fired pizza and dining for family and friends at The Exchange (lower ground floor), to latte art at Chapters (lower ground floor) there are a  lot of menus to choose from, even for the most discerning of tastes.

Nick is in charge of the Jarrold kitchen’s across all cafes and restaurants in the department store. A member of The Craft Guild of Chefs and the Masterchefs of Great Britain, Nick has worked at prestigious establishments such as The Lanesborough in London’s West End, Nick believes food should be fun as well as enjoyable, curating delicious menus using a wealth of seasonal produce and independent local suppliers.

“I have been a professional chef for the past 32 years,” says Nick. “I started off working for my parent’s restaurant in Cornwall, before being dazzled by the bright lights of London and the Home Counties, where I worked at the Cliveden and The Crazy Bear, and The Lanesborough, Quaglino’s, 51 Buckingham Gate and The Caprice Group in London’s West End. It was a great experience and gave me the opportunity to cook for royalty as well as celebrities and politicians such as Prince Andrew, Princess Ann, John Major, John Prescott, Kylie Minogue, Elton John – and many more! Even Donald Trump…”

Since working at Jarrold Nick has developed his signature style of making food fun in terms of presentation and the combination of ingredients, as well as ensuring the high standards in preparation and taste are met. From the seasonally-changing menu at Benji’s, to the popular carvery at The Pantry – and not forgetting the legendary Jarrold scone, which has become a Norfolk institution – Nick creates his menus using the finest local and seasonal ingredients. Where possible these come from local or independent suppliers and producers.

“There is so much good British produce out there why would you want to work with anything else,” says Nick. “When it comes to the menus at Jarrold, I do have my favourite dishes. For Spring the grilled calves liver served with crispy bacon, onions cooked three ways and Irish Colcannon is my favourite from the Benji’s menu. However, when it comes to cooking with local ingredients you cannot beat the humble potato, there are so many dishes you can create with it.”

As a passionate foodie, Nick is always looking at new ways to have fun with food, and with Jarrold food and drink becoming increasingly popular with customers, he is already planning new and exciting projects for both the menus and the store.

“We are working on various projects at the moment that will bring even more food and drink experiences to Jarrold – watch this space!”

Wood-fired pizza at The Exchange. Photographer: Keiron Tovell.

Afternoon tea at Benji's. Photographer: Keiron Tovell.

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