Meet Yuri Magni, our new Head Chef

Yuri Magni joined us a few months ago as Head Chef, and has created the new menu we’re serving this summer. Find out how his love of family and food sparked a career in cooking, and what his favourite ingredient is.

Photo of Yuri Magni, English's Head Chef

What’s your favourite food memory?

I’m Italian, where food is rooted deeply in our culture, passing between generations. I remember my mum and my grandma cooking from when I was a small child, I was always in the kitchen with them, stealing food before I had even sat down at the table with everyone. I’ve always loved to eat first, then I gradually started to become as interested in cooking the food as I was in eating it. I began with preparing some pasta and pizza with my mum and my grandma, then I started picking vegetables in the garden with my grandpa; lettuce, cucumber and courgette. Obviously, I was stealing strawberries and tomatoes as soon as they were ready to eat! From then I decided that I wanted to cook.

When did you start your career in the kitchen?

I was in cookery school when I started my first job in a kitchen as Assistant Chef. Being in a big and busy restaurant, I learnt everything from larders to main, charcoal grill to the pastry section. After 5 years I decided to move to London. I looked forward to being part of the cultural mix which inevitably influenced my way of cooking, and it gave me the opportunity to taste and work with a variety of exotic produce. I met so many chefs with different experiences, and learnt new ways of cooking. After 6 years of long days in different kitchens across London, here I am in Brighton, at English’s!

What do you enjoy most about your job?

It’s difficult to understand if you aren’t a chef, but even long days in the kitchen are nice days with the right people and the right food!

Favourite piece of kitchen equipment? 

Knives are by far the centre of my interest when we talk about equipment, because they are a great friend to work with when it comes to combining slicing qualities with fine materials.

Photo of Yuri Magni, English's Head Chef

Do you have a favourite ingredient?

I like most ingredients, but if I had to pick one it would be chocolate.

What’s your favourite dish on the new menu?

To be honest I don’t have a preference, all the dishes are my favourite if they’re made with love and passion.

Favourite cookbooks?

As a chef, I love cookbooks and I have a lot of them. The ones that must be in your collection are The Great Golden Spoon, and all of Gualtiero Marchesi’s books!

To taste our new summer menu for yourself, call 01273 327980 or use our online booking calendar.