There aren’t many people who could handle the heat of the MasterChef kitchen, but for one Yorkshire entrepreneur it was just another day in the office. Chris Hale, 29, reached the quarter-finals of this year's BBC TV cooking contest causing a stir with his Indian Sushi fusion and tempered chocolate dessert.
The father-of-two remained, mostly, calm under such pressure producing several mouth-watering dishes for Chef JonTorode and Greengrocer Greg Wallace.
Self-taught Chef Mr Hale, from Wakefield, said: “I had the most amazing time on the show and learnt lots about working in a professional kitchen. “It would’ve been easy to crumble under pressure of having Jon and Greg watch your every move. But I kept my cool by focusing on enjoying what I was cooking.”
The father-of-two said that he is happiest when he is in the kitchen and his creative juices are flowing.
“It was nice to receive such praise from being in the MasterChef kitchen, which gave me the confidence to start to think about cheffing professionally,” said Mr Hale. Mr Hale, who runs altitude training company AcclimatiseMe, combined his business acumen with his love of cooking to create his latest venture Pop UpNorth.
He said: “I have joined up with fellow finalists from MasterChef to create Pop Up North which is a fine dining catering company based in the north of England.
“We create exciting menus for our pop-up restaurants, when we take over a venue for the night, as well as providing luxury private dining experiences in the comfort of your own home.”
And the Pop Up North team which comprises of… have been inundated with work from cooking on a beach in Cannes to popping up restaurants in Leeds, Sheffield,Wakefield, Beverley and Ilkley.
Mr Hale, who has an MBA in business, said: “The number of enquiries we have had has been overwhelming.
“It feels great to be doing what I love, professionally and,to be making a success out of it.”
And the young award-winning entrepreneur is following in his mother Janet Hale’s footsteps, as she runs her own baking company Homefoods.
Mr Hale said: “My mum has always baked and cooked us meals from scratch and so did my Grandma.
“So I guess I’ve got cheffing in my genes. And sometimes my mum also works for me, so Pop Up Northis a real family affair.”
He said that growing up in Yorkshire has resulted in him being passionate about using local suppliers as well as sourcing the best locally produced seasonal ingredients.
Find Pop Up North on Facebook: www.facebook.com/popupnorth or
on twitter @PopUpNorthFood or
for Private Dining and catering enquiries call Chris Hale on 07899767279 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Pop Up North: Upcoming restaurants
- Pop Up North presents Gin Pairing menu at Marmalade, Wakefield on Saturday September 24, for more info:
To book tickets, go to:
- Pop Up North presents Gin pairing menu at Union Street, Sheffield on Friday September 23, for more info:
To book tickets, go to: https://www.tabl.com/events/158050-gin-pairing-menu?utm_nooverride=1
- Pop Up North Presents a Mexican Fiesta at 80k, Wakefield on Friday September 30, for more info:
To book tickets, go to: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/pop-up-north-presents-mexican-fiesta-80k-tickets-27275443586
- Pop Up North Presents an Italian Vegan pop-up at Roots and Fruits, Leeds on Thursday October 6
- Pop Up North Presents an Italian Vegan pop-up at Union Street, Sheffield on Saturday October 8
- Pop Up North Presents cocktails and canapes Halloween-style at Ink and Water, Sheffield on Friday October 28
- Pop Up North Presents cocktails and canapes Halloween style at Marmalade, Wakefield on Saturday October 29
- Pop Up North Presents a Christmas party at Marmalade, Wakefield on Saturday December 3
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Sophie Mei Lan