Freddie Griggs, Head Chef at Bishops Restaurant in Norwich, reveals how his racing driver dad has been a big inspiration!
Who are you and where do you work?
My name is Freddie Griggs and I work at Bishops Restaurant in Norwich
How long have you been there?
As head chef, for three months. I used to work as the pastry chef and also as the sous chef but I went away for a year or so and then came back
Where were you before?
Freelancing, consulting and doing small private dining events
Where did you train?
I cut my teeth at Loch Fyne where I learnt a foundation for technique, and how kitchens operate. My friend Jutty, who was sous chef there at the time, taught me a lot, on and off the menu. And my head chef at the time, Andre, had a big impact on me, one that I always carry with me and enables us to work to the standard we do today
Who has inspired you?
The obvious: Keith Floyd and Anthony Bourdain. And my father mostly, I think – all through my childhood, and even now, he had a massive impact on my attitude towards work and outlook on life. He was a racing driver and has suffered a few knockbacks physically, but always bounced back. A true legend
What is your favourite ingredient?
Beetroots – if they are organic they are something else. And pretty much all seafood – it’s a pleasure to prepare, cook and eat the fruits of the sea
Got a favourite gadget?
I don’t mind gadgets but they have to serve a purpose through the service. Nothing beats the knife in my opinion. There’s something to be said for having something for so long and keeping it so sharp
What is your signature dish at this time of year?
Our ever-changing lobster pasta dish or the BBQ chicken at lunchtime are favourites. I would like to develop a signature focus rather than just one dish, which evolves with the seasons, and provides the balance of flavours and contrasting textures – that’s it!
What do you like doing when you’re not cooking?
You’ll find me at the skatepark on my days off, letting off some steam (if it’s not raining), or spending quality time with my family, including my beautiful girlfriend, Amelia, who also happens to work at Bishops, front of house. Otherwise my head will be in a cookbook, finding inspiration
Where do you like to eat out in the region?
Sundays are the only time we get out to eat really, so it’s all about hunting down a great roast. The guys at the Wildebeest know what they are doing, and I really like Farmyard. Or it’s round to our best mates, Flora and Levi, for their hay baked chicken
What would you be doing if you were not a chef?
I like to think I would be involved in some sort of motorsport – my dad and brothers have always raced, so it’s in the blood
What’s your foodie prediction for 2019?
With veganism on the up, I feel it has triggered a lot of awareness with regard to where our food comes from and how it’s prepared. Maybe there will be a lot more focus on what is actually going into our bodies as well, for example carcinogenic foods. And the days of classical fine dining, where it’s all about butter, butter, butter, are fading out. A new age of fine dining might be on the rise; one that’s focused on our health, one that you could eat every day and yet still feel luxurious.