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QUICK BITE WITH CRAIG PURKISS, EXECUTIVE HEAD CHEF AT BARWORKS

The Woods Foodservice Quick Bite series is a 10-second download from a top UK chef sharing what’s on their plate.

We spoke to Craig Purkiss, Executive Head Chef at Barworks, who shared his inspiration for becoming a chef, most defining moment of his career and the importance of asking questions to develop your skills and ultimately further your career.

What would you say are the most defining moments in your career to date?

The most defining moment would definitely be when I was head chef at a 1 Michelin star restaurant in Switzerland and got to cook for the late Paul Bocuse and sneak in a little chat. He built such an institute in the food world, and I am such a huge fan.

What inspired you to become a chef?

This goes very far back to when I was really young, and I can remember going round to my great grandmother’s for the weekend, and whilst my big brother would be out playing in the village I would be in the kitchen cooking and baking and learning from the master of the family.

What piece of golden advice would you give to anyone in the industry who wants to be successful?

The best piece of advice was given to me from a number of chefs – when I first started out, they would say “always watch, learn and ask questions”. Meaning, ask questions about everything and don’t be scared to ask because it means you’re generally interested in what is being shown.

Any favourite ingredients at the moment or menu trends you are really enjoying?

 Food trends to me are so hot and cold and so I tend to not get too into a trend because what I do for Barworks is in itself very different. At the moment, I am loving using Benito flakes on top of scrambled eggs and sourdough.

Favourite dish on the menu that uses ingredients from Woods?

We’ve recently opened a new site for Barworks called Gas station which is in the heart of coal drop yard at Kings Cross. I’ve spent a lot of time building the concept of seafood using plenty of Woods Foodservice products. I especially love the “kimchi gruyere rice fritters with hot sauce and coriander”.  It’s kind of my take on an arancini ball, but obviously very different, incorporating kimchi, risotto rice, gruyere cheese, butter, veg stock, hot sauce, and allepo pepper. All of which are products we use from Woods Foodservice.