Meet 38-year-old Dean Wade. The born-and-bred Yorkshireman has more than 20 years’ experience as a chef. He hates his mum’s mashed potato, has indulged in lamb’s brain and … he’s head chef at The Ivy Harrogate, which opened its doors in November 2017.
What inspired you to become a chef? I got a job as a kitchen porter 20 years ago and found that peeling carrots and chopping parsley when the chefs were too busy really interested me. I also noticed how much fun the kitchen environment was and this made me realise I wanted to be a chef.
What attracted you to working at The Ivy Harrogate? The prestige behind The Ivy and The Ivy Collection is something I wanted to be a part of, and it’s so exciting to be opening the very first Ivy Collection
restaurant in Yorkshire – right here in Harrogate. The town already offers a wonderful dining scene and diverse array of restaurants, so I’m excited to be part of this.
Name one of your favourite dishes on the menu. At the moment, it’s the classic Ivy Shepherd’s pie; a comforting variation on the British classic, made with slowbraised lamb shoulder and served with Cloverdale Cheddar, potato mash and lemon tenderstem broccoli.
What else can people expect? A range of Yorkshire-inspired dishes using locally sourced ingredients for breakfast, weekend brunch, lunch, afternoon tea, light snacks and dinner. Whitby-caught fish will feature prominently within our selection of regularly changing fish specials. Masham sausages will be used for our hearty English breakfasts, and cheeseboards will include Harrogate Blue, Wensleydale and Barncliffe Blue.
Describe one of your earliest food memories. My mother’s rubbish mashed potato, bless her… it only ever saw a bit of milk and nothing else. Sorry mum.
Best restaurant you’ve eaten in? Charlie Trotter’s in Chicago – he is my absolute idol. The menu was so complex and had so many ingredients of which I’d never heard of, I couldn’t even tell you what I ate apart from the main was lamb’s brain. It was truly amazing.
What are some of your favourite ingredients to work with in winter? I love winter because we get game season. Living my whole life in Yorkshire, I have been very lucky as a chef to have worked on the best moors and establishments for game in the country.