He is a self-confessed classicist; he simply cooks the food we all want to eat – and plenty have thanked him for it.
Inspired by a familial passion for haute cuisine (his father is a former restaurateur and now stocks many restaurants with Armagnac, Calvados and rum), Harris worked as a waiter before deciding to try his hand on the other side of the pass.
He took a course at Leiths where he was spotted by chef and food writer Simon Hopkinson, who employed him at his restaurant Hilaire before installing him as Sous Chef at Bibendum.
The grandeur of Harvey Nichols’ Fifth Floor restaurant followed, where Harris established himself as a hot talent. But the style of cooking was never truly his own, so after serving ten years in the vertiginous location he found his feet at Racine in Knightsbridge.
At Racine, where he resided from 2002 up until it closed in January 2015, Harris perfected the art of provincial French cooking (Tim Hayward of The Guardian has described him as “the best French chef with the decency to be British”), creating sophisticated dishes out of traditionally unsophisticated ingredients. Signature dishes like Côte de boeuf with Bearnaise sauce, for example, are indicative of his style.
Besides French cuisine, Henry Harris has a real passion for the tools of his trade: knives. He also likes to venture into Europe on his motorbike and is a keen cyclist, too.