As one half of The Barrie Brothers, Ellis Barrie has done it all. From opening the critically acclaimed Marram Grass, to bringing Lerpwl to the Royal Albert Dock, appearing on The Great British Menu and Ready Steady Cook to even cooking for the Queen, Ellis has cemented himself as one of Liverpool’s top chefs. 

As part of the Taste Liverpool. Drink Bordeaux food and drink festival taking place from 2-5 June across the Jubilee weekend, Ellis will be recreating his menu fit for royalty and also taking part in a free chefs demo at the Bombed Out Church.

To find out more about what to expect, we sat down with Ellis to find out how it all began. 

For more information on Taste Liverpool. Drink Bordeaux, visit our website here.

How did you get into cooking?

I always loved food. It’s probably what all chefs tend to say. But eating food has always made me happy. My grandad Bob was a cook in the TA and we always cooked with him, jam tarts, rice pudding, and he was always cooking at home. My grandad Jim retired fairly early on and whether it was through sheer boredom or the pubs being closed he would always be cooking at his house and could kick up an amazing half and half. I was surrounded by both my grandfathers not being scared to use a kitchen. I also knew I could cook with them and for them and feel a sense of “is right lad”. 

When I was 12 I started attending a Saturday cooking course for kids in Roby community college Huyton, 10 week courses finished with a three course meal for our chosen family members. Each week I’d be taking home the dinner whether it be lasagne, curries or huge pies. I feel like everyone benefited in my house. The course was led by ex navy chef Steve jones. He was a chef's chef. Had that bravado and I mopped it up. 

When I was 15 and at St Margaret's high school, I went on work experience to the Radisson Fellini. At the time it was its own modern Italian style restaurant holding two rossets and ran by Chris Marshall. I had arrived exactly where I belonged and, this guy to this day is always on the other end of the blower. He has had a major influence on me, especially drilling in standards. He never skimped on the best produce and we never will. We always used the finest, seasonal produce available at Lerpwl which shines through in all of our dishes.

After the success of The Marram Grass, why did you decide to bring your next venue to Liverpool?

Growing up in Liverpool it was a no brainer to open up here. After the success of The Marram Grass we just felt like it was the most natural location for our second site. When an opportunity came up to be based in the Royal Albert Dock it just felt like something we couldn’t turn down. As scousers we have such pride in our city so both my brother Liam and I wanted to showcase what we could do.

What inspires your cooking? What kind of dishes can we expect from a visit to Lerpwl?

Eat your postcode (local, seasonal ingredients are at the forefront of my cooking style)

I love creating my style, putting my palette on the plate and having the say to do whatever I want, granted because I own Lerpwl but at the same time my team have the license to create and make mistakes and recreate and I love that.

What is one of your favourite dishes at Lerpwl? What shouldn’t we miss out on?

At Lerpwl it has to be the mussel and lamb Cawl. It’s because it's so simple yet so complicated.

What have you learned from your experiences on The Great British Menu and Ready Steady Cook?

Having worked for myself from the age of 19, I hadn’t really seen anyone elses set up and prep so I had feelings of imposter syndrome. When I appeared on The Great British Menu it really made me realise I could hold my own against other chef’s who had been trained by some of the best chefs in the world! It gave me confidence in my ability to cook. 

Ready steady cook unveiled the natural entertainer in me! I loved being in front of the camera and really found a passion for entertaining.

Being from Liverpool, what is it about Liverpool's food and drink scene that you enjoy so much?

Liverpool is an independent owner operator driven city. I love watching people carve their own path. I love seeing people develop their passion, whether that be in small format kitchens somewhere like the Baltic Market or with food they deliver through an online service. Watching those brands progress to having their own high street model is amazing! 

Liverpool is only just starting its food journey in my opinion. I think in 5-6 years we will have those young chefs who have moved away to learn their craft coming back home to bring their concept here and that's really exciting for the city!

Lerpwl is taking part in Liverpool’s brand new food and drink festival Taste Liverpool. Drink Bordeaux, what kind of menu can we expect over the weekend?

I am bringing back the menu I cooked for the Queen over 10 years ago!

My friend who won Masterchef in 2010 called me up, she had been given the task of putting together a team of protege chefs to prepare lunch for Her Majesty when she visited to open the New Brighton Pavillion. Being a 20 year old and a friend of Clare Lara, I felt honoured and obliged to help. I put a sign up at the Marram Grass saying ‘Closed due to Royal appointment’ and headed for New Brighton. To prepare such a special lunch for Her Majesty the Queen was a real honour and one I will never forget. To recreate the menu in celebration of her Platinum jubilee is really special. I am excited to bring a taste of Royal life to Lerpwl.

What are you most looking forward to at Taste Liverpool. Drink Bordeaux?

The wine! It’s fantastic seeing the city being part of such a renowned event. It will be great fun for me too as I am taking part in the chefs demo on Sunday so I am really looking forward to that!

What’s on Lerpwl’s Taste Liverpool. Drink Bordeaux menu

The three course menu, fit for royals, will be on offer for just £60, paired with an expertly selected Bordeaux wine to tie in with the Taste Liverpool. Drink bordeaux them. Located perfectly in The Royal Albert Dock, Lerpwl’s Jubilee offering is the ideal way to celebrate such a monumental occasion. The menu will be available from 1st June right through the Jubilee weekend. Starting with an amuse bouche and Champagne, the first course is a sumptuous duck terrine, followed by (we believe a firm favourite of Her Majesty’s), pan fried turbot served with braised fennel, haricot beans and a cured meat sauce. For dessert Ellis will recreate the white chocolate and raspberry mille feuille he served 10 years ago by royal appointment. 

You can book your table for this special menu here.

Find out more about what's on during Taste Liverpool. Drink Bordeaux on our dedicated page here. 

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