Connor J. Lowrey – West Street Vineyard, Colchester

I’m Head Chef Restaurant West Street Vineyard in Colchester. I’m 25 old. I’m a Essex boy, trying to make Essex great using all the ingredients on my doorstep and putting them together so everything on your plate from my kitchen of the chefs I have trained, is from Essex.

Can you tell me about your day at work?? 
Well, my day consisted of 2 functions and a busy restaurant running the pass and making sure everything is to the standard I want while keeping my team motivated.

What was the first dish that you’ve done as a chef? 
My first dish ? It was quite a while until I was allowed to actually complete actually whole dish but it was a variation on the humble cucumber.

Who is the model for you to follow? 
There’s many for me to follow , but to be different you must follow you own guidelines but while looking very close as to what’s I’m fashion in the catering world.

Do you have your dream place where would you like to work? 
Not going to lie the peninsula is a great and upcoming place so there would be a start , but honestly a fish and chip shop ! Would love to work in one , always wanted too.

Do you cook at home? 
Yes I do indeed , it’s my lab for creating new things , I’ve never brought a loaf of bread since being a chef always made one !

What would you prepared for me in 10 minutes … i mean some food 😉 ? 
Ha!  It depends on the event in this case I’m hoping it was breakfast in that case it would have to be American pancakes and maple syrup, ha!

What would like to have as last meal in life? 
Last meal!  It would have to be the humble fish and chips , not that day comes soon I hope.

What flavours you are most faithful? 
Dill.. dill is one of the most beautiful flavours and it’s so under used.. literally it’s one of my favourite flavours.

What do you think about current trends in gastronomy? 
Current trends to me is rustic and local.

What was the most important moment in Your professional chefs life? 
Making head chef, and finally having my “leash” let off so I can do my own twist on things while teaching what I have learnt to others , it’s probably the best moment.

Do you want to make your children have gone in Your footsteps / chefsteps?
I do indeed , my dream job in the whole world would to be a dad , and make him or her a chef.

Private lives there? How it looks like?
My balance of private and my work life is very hard, I come home and Cook my kitchen is basically my demo room where I can not practice but perfect things, when I’m at home I’m constantly thinking about what I can do when I come back to work so it’s very hard for me to have a social life within the restricted limits of the kitchen I push everyone to have a social life though as if you look after your employees they will look after you.

What was the funniest situation at the kitchen, is it some fun there? 
There are many funny situations I’ve seen in the kitchen but during my journeys as a agency chef , a eho paid visit to a restaurant , on which he asks the head chef where is your first aid box, and I here this seriously Un organised chef say, in the biscuit tin, ha!

What advice do you have for young cooks? 
Learn , never judge just do , always be on time and have the up and go in life to want to do what you do best , passion and care and finessè indeed, along with each dish I’ve done teach the reasons why I’ve done this and create new ideas for young minds.

Photos on your instagram, are so beautiful. Are you doing it ? Is it a long preparation?
No its not, it’s a matter of using what’s on your doorstep here in Essex and bringing it all together to make something beautiful.

Thank you.

Photo: Connor J. Lowrey

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