In 2009, he was appointed executive head chef at Cliveden House in Berkshire, overseeing the hotel’s three restaurants, Waldo’s, The Terrace and The Club Room. Chris Horridge created two tasting menus for Waldo’s, a more traditional offering that used small amounts of butter and cream and one completely without dairy, gluten or sugar. Matthew Fort writing in The Guardian commented: ‘if you feel that what you're eating is doing you the power of good as well as sending shivers of pleasure through your taste buds, so much the better.’
Dishes at Waldo’s included oceanic delights such as Seared turbot with globe artichokes, citrus zest purée and chorizo foam, and Samphire-cured sea bass with asparagus, cucumbers and flowers, as well as meatier offerings like Veal sweetbreads with parsley root purée and cocoa nibs, or Grouse with braised chicory, raspberry and almond purées. Matthew Fort concludes: ‘All in all, this was exquisite, thoughtful, brilliantly enjoyable food.’ The Independent agrees: ‘Chris Horridge is a seriously brilliant chef’.
Chris Horridge’s next position was as chef director of The Fine Dining Academy, a cooking school in Berkshire where all the courses were taught by Michelin-starred chefs. Here, he taught students how to execute achievable fine dining dishes such as Scallops with pea purée, shoots and cumin foam, and Wild pigeon cured in birch sap wine. He also helped oversee the 10 in 8 Fine Dining Group’s training academy (a project which aimed to open restaurants with 10 Michelin stars between them in 8 years). In 2012, he launched AllFoodi, a company that helped businesses practically apply their nutrition goals, and he is a founding member of the Nutrition Research Group, an organisation which investigates how food nutrition can aid recovery in hospital patients.
After this he headed research and product development at Ronan Foods, a company which produces nutritious foods free from dairy, sugar, added fructose, agave, gluten and animal products, but using only the finest ingredients to make products that taste better than their traditional alternatives. For Chris Horridge, his involvement in this project was born out of a desire to maximise the nutritional value of food and to help people living with dietary restrictions or intolerances, without any sacrifice in flavour. He explained: ‘I want to produce ‘healthy’ food that doesn’t taste like healthy food – people should be able to enjoy what they eat!’
He has now moved away from the food industry and is working on a new internet start-up that will allow him more flexibility and a better work-life balance. Future plans include building a nutrition-focused site, but that is very much still in the pipeline.
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