HEAD CHEF AT RICK STEIN FISTRAL
Fergus grew up in Nottinghamshire in a large Irish family. Sunday afternoons watching and helping his Mother bake bread and cakes at home and happy, noisy family mealtimes started his passion for the kitchen.
Whilst working an apprenticeship, Fergus worked in hotels and restaurants both front of house and in the kitchen. His first job saw him working in a hotel in Devon where he joined as an apprentice and left as a sous chef.
After a short time working in Newbury, Fergus headed to London, working as junior sous chef at the foundation Harvey Nichols restaurant in 1995. The following March, Rick Stein invited Fergus to join The Seafood Restaurant in Padstow. After three months working at The Seafood Restaurant he took the head chef position at St. Petroc’s Bistro.
Over the next ten years between spells travelling to Australia and South America, Fergus spent time in various positions across the company. He helped to open Stein’s Fish & Chips in Padstow in 2004 overseeing the kitchen and front of house team. In 2009, he helped to open The Cornish Arms, Rick and Jill Stein’s pub in St. Merryn and also spent time at their production unit in Padstow.
After a spell working as executive chef in St. Lucia, Fergus returned to the company to open Rick Stein’s Fish, Falmouth as head chef in 2010. He spent the next few years overseeing the opening of various other restaurants in Cornwall including The Ship Inn and Little Plates. Fergus has worked alongside some inspiring names during his career in cooking and says he is always humbled by how generous chefs have been with their time and knowledge.
He returned to the company as head chef at Rick Stein, Fistral in February 2015 shortly after Rick and Jill Stein announced they were moving to the iconic beach in Cornwall, which opened in April 2015.
At home, Asian and Indian food is top of Fergus’s menu inspired by his travels around the world.
HEAD CHEF AT RICK STEIN, PORTHLEVEN
Simon grew up just outside of Manchester with his family. His mother used to work in a French restaurant so as a boy he was surrounded by French chefs and seafood – retrospectively, Simon attributes this influence to his career in the kitchen.
Whilst studying graphic design at Loughborough University, Simon worked as a commis chef during the holidays learning traditional French cookery and spent summers in Cornwall at Newquay and Watergate Bay working in the kitchen and surfing when his shifts would allow. After he finished his degree, his passion for the hospitality industry grew and he moved into a front of house position running a high-end members only club in Manchester.
In 2001, Simon moved to Brittany in France. With a limited French vocabulary, his focus shifted from the front of house team into the kitchen where there were no language barriers. After just one year working at L’Atelier Gourmand in Dinan he was promoted to head chef.
Simon spent a further 3 years in France, 6 months of which he spent commuting weekly to a fine dining restaurant in Geurnsey. Soon after he moved to Ireland to take over a restaurant on the beach with his partner. They ran this restaurant for 3 years delighting in using the local fish and organic produce available to them.
After the first of his two children was born, Simon moved back to Manchester to be closer to family taking a head chef position at a 2-rosette hotel, Holdsworth House, which specialised in catering for weddings.
In March 2014, Simon moved down to Cornwall looking for new challenges and started work as head chef at Carbis Bay Hotel. Shortly afterwards he moved to Clay Quay in Porthleven and stayed on when the restaurant was opened by Rick Stein that October. After just six months, Simon moved into the head chef position at Rick Stein, Porthleven.
Simon lives in Carbis Bay with his partner and two children and can be found surfing just along from the restaurant in Porthleven between shifts. He particularly enjoys working with fish and loves the quality of suppliers available to Cornish restaurants as well as the knowledge of great produce.