Russell Brown

Russell Brown

Russell Brown

With years of Michelin-starred experience to fall back on, Russell Brown is now a font of culinary knowledge and offers consultancy services alongside his newfound passion for food writing and photography.

After an eclectic career that included a spell running a photography business, Russell Brown didn't move into the kitchen until he was twenty seven. However, he soon achieved Michelin-stardom and now his consultancy business Creative About Cuisine is held in high regard throughout the industry.

Russell’s first position – as a commis chef for Truro’s Alverton Manor Hotel’s two-AA-Rosette restaurant – came as a bit of a shock. Previously, he’d been selling fishing tackle, an altogether more sedentary occupation. But head chef Colin Gilbert – whom Russell credits for teaching him 'discipline, attention to detail, the importance of being en place' – spotted the rookie’s determination, and soon promoted him to chef de partie on sauces.

One of Russell’s 'most significant experiences' was his first head chef job at Yalbury Cottage, a small hotel in Dorset, but it wasn't until April 2003, in the county town of Dorchester, that Russell and his wife Eléna opened Sienna. Seating just 15 diners, the tiny eatery was awarded a Michelin star in 2010, making it Dorset’s only Michelin-starred restaurant and the Guide’s smallest featured.

In April 2015, 12 years to the day after opening, with the lease running out, the couple sold the restaurant. Russell was sad to see his 'greatest achievement' end, but was ready for pastures new. 'Seeing the business grow, staff move on and succeed, and the increase in my Creative About Cuisine consultancy and other activities outside of the restaurant were significant.' He now develops recipes; gives demonstrations and cookery courses; writes; blogs and is a proficient food photographer. Russell also works with a number of hospitality clients in a consultancy capacity.

Moreover, the chef uses his experience for the greater good, being involved with the Chef’s Forum, which fosters relationships in hospitality. 'Anything you can do to encourage young people to pursue hospitality as a career is really important.' He’s also given his support to Hospitality Action, a charity that provides help to catering staff in numerous ways.

Today, Russell is arguably at his most creative. 'One of the things I love about the industry is its diversity, taking different ideas, picking the best bits and adding some of my own to come up with something different. My cooking is more diverse now and I also have the time and opportunity to visit many different growers and producers.’ As his name becomes more and more commonplace in the food writing and photography circles, it's clear that he is in the midst of a new chapter of his life – with food a constant throughout.