Head Chef Russell Bateman
Head Chef, Russell Bateman, was born in West London and his interest in food and cooking began at a very early age. His nan was a ‘wonderful home cook with a particular flair for bread and baking’ and his grandad had a small vegetable patch, which always intrigued him as a child. His grandad also brewed his own beer, and Russell laments that he never had the opportunity to try it.
It was Russell’s two weeks work experience at school that first introduced him to the industry where he would excel. He remembers being placed ‘with a very talented and patient Chef who had time for me and helped me grow. I have never regretted a day of it’.
He studied at the world-famous Westminster College, which at the time had an amazing site in Battersea which he’d go to on an NVQ course once a week on his day off. Every role that he has had since then has led him to Pétrus and the position that he is in now. Russell is a firm believer that everything happens for a reason!
Since the beginning, all of his mentors have had a huge effect on Russell, and continue to do so.
His Grandparents, with their baking and brewing, inspired him as do his parents. Anyone within the industry who have made a success of themselves also act as an inspiration. Gordon is a huge inspiration and guiding light to him as well.
The thing that pushes him to reach new levels at Pétrus, is the desire to look after people, and have people say they’ve never had a better experience. To Russell, ‘having regular dinners is the greatest compliment’.
Outside of the kitchen, Russell is actively involved in Craft Guild of Chefs “Graduate awards” as chair of the judges. He believes it’s hugely important to train, coach and guide the next generation of Chefs. As a dad, he also loves spending time with his son, ‘doing the simple things but especially cooking together’.