There is no doubt in saying that Michelin Star chef Andrew Pern has set the bar extremely high in the gastropub industry. With years of valuable experience, knowledge and huge success under his belt, we simply needed to catch up with him in light of the exciting re-opening of one of his gastropubs, The Star Inn the City in York City Centre. At Florigo we are extremely proud to work alongside and provide frying equipment for The Star Inn the City and The Star Inn the Harbour.
With all of our equipment being bespoke to each customer’s needs, we will always find the best solutions to maximise efficiency in the kitchen. We pride ourselves on our high-quality equipment, the relationships we build and our ability to help transform a business for the better.
As a Michelin-starred chef, undoubtedly you have cooked many unique, amazing dishes. However, what does a classic British dish of Fish & Chips mean to you?
Deep-fried Fish and Chips are a classic close to my heart (literally!) as I was born in the seaside town of Whitby, where the cobbled streets of the old town have a salty, vinegary scent, which is as much a part of the setting as the sound of the seagulls and fishing vessels bobbing up and down in the harbour.
The Star Inn chain has grown over time, but where did it all begin?
It began 23 years ago when I bought a certain C14th thatched pub on the edge of the North Yorkshire Moors, The Star Inn at Harome. It had been for sale for 4 years and empty for a year, so looked unloved and unwanted. The rest is history!
What advice would you give to someone thinking of entering the gastropub industry?
I was classically trained as a Chef, working in France and using classic cookery traditions, which I put into practice in a pub environment, the French equivalent of which would be their bistros and brasseries and with the aim of offering something for everyone.
You now have a Florigo range at The Star Inn the Harbour and a Florigo multi-unit at The Star Inn the City, what made you choose Florigo initially and continue to choose Florigo?
Florigo is a leading brand in the Industry and we were impressed by the professionalism of the team and the user training programme. It had worked well for us at Whitby, so it was a natural choice for our York restaurant.
We all know Florigo frying equipment produces fantastic fish & chips, but what other dishes do you produce on your Florigo equipment?
We do a lot of varied dishes, some are influenced by my Michelin-starred restaurant. We do things like Veal Schnitzels, Smoked Salmon Croquettes, Scarborough Woof (a local, quite meaty catfish from the shark family), Goujons of Turbot, Deep-fried Goats Cheese as a starter and garnish elements, such as Haggis Fritters.
How does frying on a Florigo differ from equipment you’ve used in the past?
Previously we have only used small individual equipment, so a full frying range is a whole new world! Exceptional!
What are the 3 main factors you believe has made The Star Inn brand so successful?
The main factor is consistency over a 23-year period, which has kept us in the top Gastropubs since opening and allowed us to top the list three times, as well as holding a Michelin star for 15 years and winning 3 Catey awards, the ‘Oscars’ of the catering industry.
Quality has also been an essential factor, which we achieve by using the best of what’s available at all times, be it staff, ingredients or beverages.
Ambience is another magic ingredient. You have to create a place that people want to come to. The Star Inn at Harome is an atmospheric C14th thatched Inn, The Star Inn The City a riverside brasserie in the centre of York, Mr P’s Curious Tavern, our small and large plate style establishment is in the historic centre of York and The Star Inn The Harbour has the best location in Whitby.
What do you see for the future of The Star Inn chain?
Consolidation is our present focus as we have been very busy over the past few years, so I would like to fine-tune and maximise what we’ve got at the moment, then see what happens. There’s never a dull moment and unmissable opportunities seem to be always appearing on the horizon!
At Florigo we are proud to say we are the most technologically advanced brand on the market with an exceptional build quality and many unique features that are not available on any other frying equipment. We understand the problems a busy kitchen can face and therefore do our best to design and build equipment that will make life easierSee below for some photographs of multi-units we’ve installed.