Hi guys, Chef Owner, Conrad here. I would like to introduce you to Chris Cowpe (Cowpe as I like to call him, and even “grandad” sometimes)
Cowpe is a shy chef (that’s why I am writing this) who I have had the pleasure of working with for nearly 25 years.Before our paths crossed, Cowpe had a lot of success in Bristol part owning one of the most successful restaurants in the 90s, eventually going solo with his own restaurant in Clifton Village. After this adventure, he decided to slow things down and go back to working for someone and choosing the hours he worked. This is where our paths crossed, when I bought my first restaurant.
We didn’t get off to a great start (I was young, and maybe a little cocky), and after just three weeks with me he handed his notice in. Literally a couple of days before he was due to leave, we sat down and realised that maybe this could work. I often joked in that first year that if he makes it to 20 years I will give him a watch…
I guess I owe him a watch!
I actually owe him a lot more than that. I really do not think I have worked with a Chef who I have so much respect for in all my time of Cheffing. He has never let me down, never questioned my decisions, and has never undermined me.
As young chefs we were told to buy The Repertoire, Chefs Compendium and Herrings dictionary of classical and modern cookery ( I did). I love the classics, especially the French, and if I don’t know something I just ask my Cowpe—with the knowledge he has, I think he must have eaten those books!
I guess what I am saying is, I am very proud to be running my finale restaurant with my Cowpe by my side. He might be part timer these days at 66 years old, but what a machine he is. He might be our Snr Chef these days, but as far as I am concerned he will always be my Chef de Cuisine.