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Harrison Brockington. Head Chef and Owner of Gather in Totnes

In the Kitchen with… Harrison Brockington

Taste Buds chats to the Head Chef at Gather in Totnes, who is fast becoming known for his excellent dishes and seasonal approach to cooking

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your background?
I have been passionate about food from a young age but it wasn’t until I was in secondary school studying Food Technology that I truly developed my love for cooking. Following my GCSE years, I undertook Professional Cookery qualifications at the Michael Caines Academy at Exeter College.

During my time at college, I secured my first professional cooking job at ABode Exeter (The Royal Clarence). Then I had the opportunity to work alongside John Burton-Race at The Grosvenor Hotel in Torquay.

Outside of work, I enjoy a spot of gardening, particularly growing fruits and vegetables. Walking is another activity I relish when not in the kitchen.

How did you come to work/set up at Gather?
In 2018, along with my friends Declan and Ollie, I started running monthly pop-up restaurants in locations around Torbay. This was our chance to showcase our talent, as well as develop our own menus. The pop-ups established a popular fan base for our food and this led to the opening of Gather restaurant in Totnes in 2019.

What are your plans for Gather?
We’re trialling new culinary techniques to add further variety to our menus. My longer-term plan for Gather is to expand to larger premises (hopefully with the addition of outdoor space).

What’s the must-try dish on your menu?
Our menu changes every month so it’s hard to pick. However, the must-try dish for June has to be the woodruff custard tart with strawberry and elderflower.

Can you tell us a bit about your foraging and local sourcing?
David Beazley, my old tutor at Exeter College, introduced me to the world of foraging as an excellent and sustainable alternative to overseas ingredients. He still shares his expertise by supplying the restaurant with ingredients he has recently foraged, and as a guest speaker for our anticipated Foraged Events evening.

Mushrooms, in particular, are my favourite item to forage – there is always a huge diversity of options in the Devon countryside.

Can you describe your cooking style in three words?
Classical, inventive and original.

What do you love most about being a chef in Devon?
Devon has an amazing selection of fresh produce which I always find inspiring. This is what helped me coin my restaurant’s tagline ‘hedge, river and field’, as these areas all offer unique ingredients that I like to showcase.

Gather
50 Fore St Totnes
Devon TQ9 5RP
01803 866666
www.gathertotnes.com

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