la Bécasse - Fine Dining in Shropshire

Chris O'Halloran

Head Chef

I am often asked where my passion for cooking comes from?

To tell the truth it started as a young boy. My mother used to come home from work to the smell of freshly baked flap jacks or homemade bread.

I started as a kitchen porter at the age of 16 and was determined to cook rather than wash up. Watching the chefs preparing and serving dishes mesmerised me, so I went to college to learn the basics. I was only cooking for 2 years before I applied for my first head chef job so I would say that I am completely self taught apart from the experience and inspiration I gained from my short spell of training at Le Manoir aux Quat' Saisons, cooking by day and dining in the evening inspired me to what I do today.

Travelling around the UK has reaffirmed my faith, as if I ever needed it, in the quality of the natural produce available to us these days. I’ve included some strong French influences I picked up whilst travelling around France. When I started professionally cooking I was 17 years old and I am happy to say that 23 years down the line the restaurants I have worked in are counted among the best, not only in Scotland but after my huge success in winning the ITV hit show “Britain’s Best Dish the chefs” also in Britain. This is one of my biggest accolades achieved so far along with my 3 AA rosettes, Good Food Guide recommendation and Rural Chef of the Year runner up 2008.

Chris O’Halloran