Henry Harris is a highly acclaimed chef, restaurateur and food writer with 30+ years experience in the food and hospitality sector. Henry began his career as an apprentice at Hilaire under Simon Hopkinson where he started his ascent to becoming Head Chef and subsequently Executive Chef at a number of London's most acclaimed restaurants, including Bibendum; Harvey Nichols’ Fifth Floor Restaurant and Hush Mayfair. Henry opened his own restaurant Racine in 2002, which soon became a multi-award winning, London institution for serving gutsy French cuisine. Henry is currently Chef and Beverage Director at Wright Brothers.
Across the course of Henry's career to date he has also worked as a consultant chef and restaurateur for numerous openings; these include Soho House, The Bower House, Groucho Club Soho, as well as ambassadorial work with Donald Russell. Henry's food writing career includes Times Weekend, Sunday Telegraph, Observer Food Monthly to name a few. In Henry's spare time he is a Director of his family business, Harris Vinters.
Life Before Leiths:
“Before Leiths, I was working as a waiter for the late Karl Loderer at Manleys, a remarkable Austrian chef who inspired me to leave the dining room and head for the kitchen.”
What drew you towards a career in food?
“My father went through a number of career changes and became a wine merchant and then opened a restaurant in Brighton, le Grandgousier. Whilst relentlessly hard, it became a part of our lives and I couldn’t see myself doing anything else.”
Top things you learnt at Leiths?
“That food should not impress you with its ornateness but should make you feel hungry. Also, how to make mayonnaise with a wooden spoon.”
What do you love most about your job today?
“Working with great ingredients and seeing our customers enjoying themselves.”
Do you have any wise words for future Leiths grads?
“Start at the very bottom and take your time working your way up. Learn from every opportunity, in every kitchen.”