An Interview with our Head Chef - Hannah Black
14th July 2021
We caught up with our inspirational Head Chef, Hannah Black as she shared some insights into her life, passions, pet hates and favourite smell!
Where were you born?
I was born in Brixham and have always lived in this area apart from when I went travelling for 4 years.
My Dad was a trawlerman and I can remember being on a trawler with him during Brixham Trawler race when I was very young.
Where did you train?
My training has all taken place on the job. I was working as a waitress at Churston Golf Club when the chef left unexpectedly. I was basically chucked into the kitchen to help out, and I’ve never looked back. I learnt so much from the Head Chef there, Dave Downs, who was a fantastic teacher. I also spent a year in Sydney at North Bondi Fish which I loved. Australians are very keen on Asian style fish and here I learnt all about raw fish preparation techniques.
Aged 14, I was a waitress at Browse Seafoods in Brixham, which is sadly not there any more and I would also help out at the fishmongers next door when they needed me.
Who has been your biggest inspiration?
My Dad has always had a really strong work ethic. I’m sure this has rubbed off on me and influenced the way I work.
How long have you worked for Holland Group?
I spent 18 months at the Angel working with Head Chef Elly Wentworth , and then I was offered the position of Head Chef at Platform 1 where I have been for the past 18 months.
Favourite country you have visited?
I absolutely loved India, everything about the place, the hustle, the bustle, the smells and especially the food.
I just love being by the sea, it is where I find my peace. I think it’s also why I love all the fresh produce from the sea so much.
Best meal you’ve ever eaten?
In India my favourite was Thali, I love the presentation of all the little bowls on the same platter and the different flavour combinations with the pickles and flatbreads. In Sri Lanka I ate amazing seafood and giant jumbo prawns which were fantastic.
I am a complete coffee addict, it has to be black and very strong and keeps me going.
A perfect day for me would be beside the water somewhere with good friends, relaxing in the water in the sunshine.
When you come off an air-conditioned aeroplane into a new place and get that first smell of a new country – it always makes me smile in anticipation of the good times and adventures ahead.
Dogs are the best and I love the fact that Platform 1 is a dog friendly restaurant.
My pet hates are lateness and disorganisation, they both really wind me up! I’m a real stickler for having my ‘mise en place’ completely sorted before we start service every day. If this is done well then I am confident the day will go smoothly.
Interesting fact about you?
I trained cutting 60kg fish, and heavier, the Japanese way for tuna and sushi.
Most treasured possession?
I am not a materialistic person so possessions aren’t really that important to me.
What single thing would improve the quality of your life?
More time to myself.