Meet Our ChefsTHE EXPERIENCED PEOPLE BEHIND OUR INNOVATIVE FOOD

 

SEAN FLINT - Executive Chef


Say Hello to Sean

Sean’s not a name dropper, but he’s got plenty of high profile “celebrity” chefs on his CV that he can call mentors. They’ve got more Michelin-stars than you can shake a stick at if we’re honest. He’s bringing that knowledge and experience to SK Foods, where he finds a food creation business that’s forward thinking.

Who I’ve worked for

Gordon Ramsey at Restaurant Gordon Ramsey in Chelsea (he was shouty but it was only because he wanted it perfect), Mark Sargeant at Claridges and Marcus Wareing at Petrus (he was more intimidating than Gordon to be honest – he’d just stand and watch what you were doing!)

Training

I’m classically trained – I studied at Melton Mowbray Catering College – but to be honest, most of the training comes from working in the restaurants I have.

How long I’ve been a chef

I’ve been a chef about 20 years – I was also a head chef of a vegetarian restaurant and have run my own fine-dining restaurant in Leicestershire too. (He’s too modest to tell you that it was voted in the Top Ten Sunday Lunches in the country). You bring all of that experience into creating the dishes we do here at SK Foods.

Areas of expertise

Working with fresh pasta making raviolis, tortellini’s etc. Seafood is also another area of passion – taking fresh fish and shell fish and creating something delicious. Oh, and also being able to create flavoursome tapas dishes from leftover ingredients!

Best dishes

Smoked haddock and leek ravioli with sautéed samphire grass and lobster bisque veloute or beef Wellington with truffle parsnip puree, wild mushroom and spinach fricassee and Madeira jus.

Favourite food

Thai and Spanish are my two favourite cuisines.

Favourite chef

Thomas Keller of The French Laundry, California. I got to cook for him once.

Top Cheffie tip

Have a “mise en place” in your cooking area. It translates from French to “putting in place”. This is one of the most important parts when making anything in the kitchen. If you are organised with everything including weighed out ingredients, a tidy working area and understanding what you’re doing, then the end result should be a lot easier to achieve!

JOHN CONNELL - Head Chef


Meet John

Not many chefs can say they have learned from one of the culinary masters, but John certainly did – and few come bigger than Marco Pierre White.
Our very own Kiwi, John plied his trade in New Zealand and Australia before coming to the UK to work with some of the greats and as well as cooking for Royalty, his stint as consultant chef at Newcastle’s St James Park led him to cook personally for the Magpies then captain Kevin Nolan.
He admits to being driven by spices which makes him a perfect fit in the SK kitchen

Who I’ve worked for

I had the pleasure of working under Marco Pierre White when he ran Harveys, a restaurant in Wandsworth, London. It’s where Marco really made his name, becoming the youngest chef ever to win two Michelin stars. He is a very clever man.

Training

I’m classically trained but the best training you can get is working in different kitchens..

How long I’ve been a chef

28 years

Areas of expertise

I am very experienced in all areas, but particularly in Asian food and desserts. Prior to joining SK I worked for a company developing desserts for airline first and business class travellers

Best dish

White chocolate and spiced mango bombe, crisp goats cheese ravioli and anything with beef.

Favourite food

Japanese cuisine, especially raw, but it’s all good!

Favourite chef

Marco Pierre White, who else!

Top Cheffie tip

Keep it simple, don’t over complicate.

JANE BEESLEY - Senior Sous Chef


Meet Jane

This is Jane– she’s the backbone of the SK Chilled Foods development kitchen. As our longest-serving chef, she knows exactly what our customers want and how to deliver it. She’s got tonnes of practical experience in creating tastes and flavours that everyone can enjoy. She says the SK Chilled Foods kitchen is a place for real team work, alongside hard work, determination and a healthy helping of chef banter!

Who I’ve worked for

I’ve been working with food since she left school – training at the then local Kirby College and working in a nearby supermarket’s restaurant for practical experience.

I also ran the kitchen of the Royal Oak in Stockton where, as well as making sure the food was perfect, I was responsible for stock, orders and deliveries. I then wanted a new challenge and started working at SK Chilled Foods.

Training

Alongside my traditional training at college, I’ve learned a lot during my time here about different sorts of cuisines, ranges, flavour profiles, new ingredients and I’ve worked on every account we have. We all see eating out as part of our training (I know, how lucky are we?!) and I’ve eaten in some fantastic places.

How long I’ve been a chef

Since I was a teenager!

Areas of expertise

I know a lot about modern cooking and food processing methods, functional ingredients, savoury pastry, flavour pairing and good honest cooking.

Best dish

The best dish I’ve created here is the chimmichanga – I’m really proud of that!

Favourite food

Indian – but I also love the street stalls in London. They amaze me.

Favourite chef

I’ve met Gordon Ramsey and Jamie Oliver through work and my other favourite chefs are the Hairy Bikers (local lads!) and Rick Stein.

Top Cheffie tip

Clean as you go. It makes things so much easier!

CHRIS BROWN - Sous Chef


Say Hello to Chris

Chris is a North East lad who is working in a development kitchen for the first time in his career but he enjoys the variety of the role and is looking forward to working with our talented team of chefs to create amazing dishes for the UK's biggest supermarkets.

Who I’ve worked for

Celebrity chef Tony Singh. I was the Head Pastry Chef at his fine dining restaurant in Edinburgh. Also I worked in the kitchen of the michelin-starred Bistro 21 which was run by Terry Laybourne.

Training

I started at 16 so I have trained on the job, which is a fantastic way to learn.

How long I’ve been a chef

12 years and I have loved every minute of it.

Areas of expertise

Pastry and American food

Best dish

Steak sirloin

Favourite food

Pizza, especially ham and pineapple. Hawaiian food is the next big thing!

Favourite chef

James Martin. He's got a similar background to me.

Top Cheffie tip

Never put off a job that can be done today.

OLIVER PARKINSON - Sous Chef


Say Hello to Oliver

Oliver is another North Easterner whose background is in food technology and food development so after years working in restaurant he says it feels like coming home.

Who I’ve worked for

The Queen. I bet my fellow chefs can't beat that! I worked at Buckingham Palace and Windsor, which was an amazing experience. I was also on the catering team on one of the singer David Gray's tours.

Training

I got a BSc in Food Science and learned everything else on the job.

How long I’ve been a chef

11 years and it's been very varied.

Areas of expertise

I do a mean Sunday lunch.

Best dish

Lamb rump.

Favourite food

I love Indian food and Tex Mex, so I am in my element here at SK.

Favourite chef

Gordon Ramsay.

Top Cheffie tip

Be organised.