Chefs & StaffOUR TEAM






The HistoryOF THE CHOPHOUSE


A Chophouse is more than just a restaurant or pub; it’s a British Institution dating back to the late 17th century.

Chophouses were exclusive places where businessmen conducted their affairs, with hearty platefuls of food, usually grilled, washed down with fine wines or well-kept local beers.

This traditional style of cooking was maintained in chophouses until the late 19th century. At this point, with the world growing smaller, influences from overseas began to bring exciting new styles of cooking and cuisine to British shores. Restaurants evolved and chophouses lost their popularity…

It isn’t until the 1800’s that our story truly begins. Originally operated as a home for ‘wayward women’, and later as a haberdashery, our building first served as an eating establishment in 1982. In the years that followed, she played host to many owners, each with their own unique vision.

She became The Chophouse Braintree in 2015. By embracing the peculiarity and beauty of the building, as well as taking advantage of the exceptional local produce on offer, we have been able to take the essence of the chophouse and give it new life.

We believe in delivering great food, exceptional wines, and warm, attentive customer service. Our building, with all she has seen and experienced, is the perfect setting in which this can be achieved. By creating a relaxed, comfortable atmosphere in which to dine, our aim is to combine traditional chophouse values with contemporary, flavoursome foods, to create more than just a meal.


OurPHILOSOPHY


At The Chophouse Braintree we prefer to describe our food style, rather than label it. We find the term ‘Fine Dining’ restrictive and, although keen on clean, intricate presentation, are hesitant to place our food in that bracket. Instead, our focus is on the quality of the produce we source, and the flavour of the dishes we serve. We cook with love and look to make our food accessible and enjoyable.

As fans of classic cooking, we do not shy away from the use of cream, butter, and alcohol in our food. We just make sure it is well balanced and impeccably seasoned. The beauty of serving dishes created completely in-house is that we can cater to the requirements of the diner, and can recommend dishes we know meet dietary requirements.

Rather than separating front and back of house, we consider ourselves a full-service team. We often see chefs venturing into the restaurant to truly understand a customer’s needs.

We value seasonality and adapt our menu every 6 – 8 weeks. This reflects our passion for locally produced ingredients, and helps us to continually challenge our chefs and excite our diners. 100% of our meat is sourced within a 30-mile radius, and we regularly visit our suppliers to ensure both quality and ethics are maintained. In short, we care about what we serve, and where it has come from. We believe this reflects in the quality and seasonality of our menus.



MeetOUR CHEFS


Richard

HEAD CHEF

Richard’s early inspiration came from his grandmother, whom he cooked with whilst his mum was at work. At 12, Richard helped as a kitchen porter in Castle Hedingham. Even at this early age, he knew that this was where he was meant to be.

After leaving school, he naturally went on to catering college, spending three years studying and working his first official job as a Saturday butcher boy. When he left college, he went to work at the De Vere Arms in Earles Colne, a fine dining French restaurant already running at a two-rosette standard. From there, Rich worked as part of Jamie Oliver's 15 group, where he learnt to cherish fresh ingredients and to maximise flavour.

Richard’s next role took him to the White Hart in Coggeshall, where he became Sous Chef and a significant part of the team who won back their rosette. At 25, Richard started touring, and by his own admission truly learnt his trade. His first tour was with Rod Stewart, whom he travelled will across the UK and Europe. He followed the same route with celebrities such as Dynamo, Katy Perry, Madonna and Eric Clapton. The focus was always on fresh, seasonal produce from around the world. This gave him a huge depth of knowledge.

Leaving the road behind him, Rich then started a family and decided to settle down. When meeting Rob, the owner of The Chophouse Braintree, Rich found a kindred spirit and saw the potential the restaurant held. Soon after he joined the team, and success has followed.