Jacquie Pern and Peter Neville on Running The Pheasant Hotel in Harome
We caught up with Jacquie Pern and Peter Neville
Have you always worked in hospitality?
Yes, I was brought up in hospitality. My parents ran a pub and then a hotel, and I always knew I wanted to run my own business. Following a brief stint at a musical theatre school in London, I came back to North Yorkshire and went straight to work in hospitality. I started at the Milburn Arms in Rosedale, and then part-owned and ran the Star at Harome for 13 years before taking on The Pheasant.
What’s been the greatest achievement for The Pheasant Hotel so far?
I am very proud that The Pheasant is so busy all year round, but the awards we have won over the recent years, particularly those recognising our customer service, mean an awful lot to us and acknowledge our team’s hard work and dedication.
What’s the most important thing for you concerning the running of the hotel?
Without a doubt it is customer satisfaction, but alongside that goes attention to detail and of course, the retention of good staff.
Where do you get your inspiration from for each room?
I have always enjoyed the interior design side of the business, and I’m hugely inspired by the interior designer and hotelier Kit Kemp, who owns Firmdale Hotels. We have 16 rooms at the Pheasant, and I would like to think that each one is individually special in its own way.
How is the festive period looking for you?
Extremely busy this year! Not only the Christmas and New Year period, but the forthcoming months will be the busiest we’ve ever had at The Pheasant, as we’re hosting a record number of shooting parties.
Where do you get your inspiration for your dishes?
I get inspired from all sorts of places – not only other restaurants and hotels when I travel, but from our local suppliers too. My fellow team members at the Pheasant also inspire me to create new dishes. I may be Head Chef but all the team contribute ideas for our menus.
How important is using seasonal ingredients to you?
Incredibly important – all our menus and dishes are based on the best local, seasonal produce we can find. A product is at its best when in season, and it goes without saying that using seasonal ingredients makes our dishes the best they can be. We have worked with several of our suppliers since we took over The Pheasant in 2009, and I insist on sourcing the best produce available to us.
What’s your favourite dish to make?
I have two favourite dishes. The first is my signature dish of oxtail and squid which is on our autumn menu at the moment. The oxtail and squid are both braised and served with hash browns, corn bread and roasted sprouts. My second choice is North Yorkshire Moors grouse, which is served with a plum sauce (made with plums from our garden), and wild mushrooms which I collect from around Harome.
What advice do you have for any budding chefs?
Try to work somewhere where the chef with his/her name above the door is the chef working in the kitchen.
Who are your chef idols?
Claude Bosi, whom I worked under at Hibiscus and who now runs the two-Michelin-starred Bibendum in London. He is the ultimate chef.
What can visitors to the Christmas Fair expect from your chef demo?
What’s been your proudest moment as a chef?
When I had the opportunity to cook for and meet the legendary Albert Roux when he came for dinner recently at The Pheasant.