The Sportsman, Whitstable
+ Terroir cooking
+ Roast saddle of Monkshill Farm lamb
+ Slip sole grilled in seaweed butter
+ Makes own butter
+ Makes salt
Stephen Harris is something of an anomaly in the food world because for most of his life, he wasn’t part of it.
With no formal training, Harris, an ex-history teacher and punk musician, abandoned a lucrative but boring career in finance to see if he could build a career out of his cooking obsession.
The answer was a resounding yes. Harris took on the Sportsman, a dilapidated shell of a pub at the time, with his brother Phil and, over the course of a decade, has turned it into a veritable temple of gastronomy.
A somewhat anarchic figure, Harris’ cooking style is totally free of the pretension sometimes found in high-end establishments and his pub has become a mecca for travelling chefs and restaurateurs, including Noma’s Rene Redzepi.
It’s been a busy year for Harris, whose food column in the Telegraph has garnered serious acclaim, winning him the title of Cookery Writer of the Year in the prestigious Guild of Food Writers Awards 2016.