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Charlie Curran - 42 - Head Chef

Charlie Curran, Head Chef at Peppercorn has over 25 years’ experience in the food industry.

His training began at 17 at the Thomas Danby College in Leeds and he got a foot in the catering door washing pots at Headingley cricket ground alongside his studies. Charlie subsequently moved to Reading to work as a Commis Chef at Pincents Manor, continuing in the same role a year later at Herefordshire’s Brockencote Hall for a 12-month stint. The north beckoned once more and Charlie progressed to become Chef de Partie at Leeds’ Haley’s Hotel for 18 months before the arrival of his big career break – a role at chef Brian Turner’s London restaurant.

Under Turner, Charlie worked his way from Chef de Partie, up to Sous chef and finally Head Chef during his five years with the TV favourite. Head Chef role under his belt, Charlie made the journey back up north and worked at a number of establishments including Milano’s in Sheffield, Haley’s in Leeds, the Leopold Hotel and 543 in Sheffield - the latter where he met General Manager Kelly Ware.

The couple moved onto a joint venture running the Samuel Fox at Bradwell, Derbyshire where Charlie held two AA Rosettes and a Good Food Guide entry before the owners put the building onto the market.

Along with Kelly, Charlie likes to spend his free time eating in other establishments and taking inspiration from things he sees. He is inquisitive when it comes to learning new techniques and enjoys challenging himself to make things different with creative twists.

Charlie is now looking forward to the challenge of opening his own successful restaurant Peppercorn.

Pitcure of the couple

"Chefs are strange creatures; their trade is more of a calling, a vocation, than a career. They start young; the training is hard, the hours long, the pay meager. Chefs work when others are having fun. They don’t have real friends. Their mar­riages don’t work; their children don’t like them. And no one ever invites a chef round for dinner."

- A.A. Gill for Vanity Fair, November 2012

Charlie's Blog

Winter is well & truly here!

- November 2013

Well winter is well and truly here. Dark by five and the central heating is on. The cold winter evenings are the perfect time to enjoy some of the best food Britain has to offer. Rich, dark stews and braised dishes such as my braised shoulder of lamb dish which is braised for 6-8 hours, stripped down and re-shaped. Its then served with creamy mashed potato and savoy cabbage.

So here are some tips for the perfect slow cooked treats:

1) Cheap is good. The cheaper cuts tend to be the most worked mussels and as such develop the best flavour.

2) Brown your meat and vegetables well (but don't burn). This will give them a deeper flavour and a rich dark colour

3) Bring it to the boil quickly and turn down, then in to the oven or a slow cooker if you have one.

4) Sit back and relax.

Well I better get back to it, but keep checking our site for my latest updates on what is in season right now and how to cook it. Look forward to seeing you soon

Charlie

Well we did it!!

- September 2013

We painted, sanded, wallpapered and cleaned and finally Peppercorn arrived.

With help from family and friends and a great local decorator, “the porter cabin on a car park Morans “disappeared and sheffield’s newest restaurant Peppercorn was born. Following a great local restaurant is never an easy thing, but the feed back has been great with a mixture of old favourites like the slow braised shoulder of lamb which Kelly and most of her family bullied me into having on the menu.

And new dishes like the crab stuffed lemon sole fillets which you can see in the new 365 tasting menu ebook available from 365cookbook.com at a very reasonable of £6 all of which goes to charity.

And the iced liquorice and blackcurrant dessert which is getting rave reviews.

Well I better get back to it, but keep checking our site for my latest updates on what is in season right now and how to cook it. Look forward to seeing you soon

Charlie