Meet the chef at York’s swishest new restaurant The Ivy – and win a meal for two

Sumptuous… Inside the new Ivy in York. Photographs: Paul Winch-Furness
21 Dec 2017 @ 6.28 pm
| Food & drink

Want a taste of the high life? Well, you don’t have to travel down to London any more.

The Ivy has opened its swish York restaurant, and its sumptuous interior is everything you might expect from a company that attracts stars and supermodels to its West End hotspot.

But what about the food? Who better to ask than the head chef, Steve Scoullar.

Eggs Benedict, Ivy style

He studied at York College and worked at the Blue Bicycle and Middlethorpe Hall Hotel in York, then ran the kitchens on luxury cruise line Regent Seven Seas before taking the helm at The Ivy.

We caught up with the man behind the menu to find out more about him and the dishes now being served in St Helen’s Square.

And we have a great competition below – you can win a meal for two at the Ivy York.

York ‘one of the great food hubs’

Head chef at The Ivy St Helen’s Square, Steve Scoullar
What started your love of food and cooking?
I grew up cooking at home with my parents and grandparents which ignited a passion for cooking and experimenting with food from a very young age. At 15, I began working in a kitchen and knew immediately that this is what I wanted to do. The rest was history really.

What did you learn from stints at both the Blue Bicycle and Middlethorpe Hotel?
At Blue Bicycle I learnt to cater for a fine dining audience, developing key skills including attention to detail, whilst piecing together my knowledge of food and the industry itself.

At Middlethorpe Hotel, arguably the best hotel in North Yorkshire, I gained experience managing a larger brigade as this was my first managerial position of sous chef, at the time serving the best food in the area.

Inside The Ivy
You could be dining here…
How has York’s eating out scene changed in the last ten years?
Tenfold! I returned back to York this year following seven years away from the city and the food scene had exploded.

Seven years ago, there were just a few reliable restaurants. Nowadays, York boasts a huge number of high-quality restaurants across a great variety of cuisines and there’s much more to choose from.

In my opinion, York can now be seen as one of the great food hubs of the north, doing wonders for the city and our tourist trade.

What attracted you to the job at The Ivy in York?
Firstly, I was very keen to move back to York, my home town of 25 years. I wanted to take on a new challenge and a role that would keep me occupied and inspired.

The Ivy St Helen’s Square head chef position seemed to tick all of these boxes. I’m very lucky to be supported by such a strong and passionate team who are just as excited about the opening as I am!

Also the opportunity to work alongside chef director Mark Askew and executive chef Sean Burbridge was a chance I couldn’t pass by.

What is distinctive about the York menu?
It was important for us to incorporate local produce into our dishes where possible, ensuring that The Ivy St Helen’s Square pays homage to Yorkshire and the local community.

Our shepherd’s pie is topped with Cloverdale Cheese from the Wensleydale Creamery in the Yorkshire Dales, our cheeseboard features Yorkshire Blue, Wensleydale and Fountains Gold Cheddar, all sourced locally, and our cod is line caught in Whitby.

The Ivy Hamburger
Steve’s favourite – the chocolate bombe
Which dishes are you most excited about?
It’s very hard to say as I’m excited about a lot of things. If I had to pick something it would be our chocolate bombe dessert.

This Christmas, the chocolate bombe will also be undergoing a festive make-over, re-named as The Ivy Christmas Flambé and available until 31 December – flambéed at the table and featuring a dark chocolate shell, Christmas pudding, redcurrants and vanilla ice cream.

How big a challenge is running the Ivy kitchen?
We will have over 60 staff turning up for work every day and we’ll need to ensure quality and standards are kept to the level in which our customers expect.

What can diners expect now and in the future?
Guests will enjoy all-day dining, with menus featuring breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, light snacks, coffees, dinner and weekend brunch. We will hold tables back for walk-ins to ensure that passers-by are able to pop in for a coffee or quick bite to eat.

We’ll be open seven days a week, from dawn till dusk, ensuring there is something to suit all occasions. Expect friendly staff, good food and beautiful surroundings.

What will you be having for Christmas lunch – and will you be cooking?
Yes, I always cook Christmas lunch! This year I’ll be treating my fiancé to local game from the market with all the trimmings, most probably with a well-deserved glass of Champagne.

Win a meal for two at The Ivy York

** The competition is now closed **

Here is your chance to dine in style. We have teamed up with The Ivy St Helen’s Square to offer a great prize – a meal for two at the new restaurant.

The prize will include:

  • arrival cocktail or glass of Champagne
  • three course meal
  • bottle of wine for the table – manager’s choice
  • water/teas/coffees.

All you have to do is answer this question:

Ivy head chef Steve Scoullar worked at which of these restaurants?
1) The Green Bus; 2) The Red Milk Float; 3) The Blue Bicycle

Fill out your details on the form and add your answer. The winner will be chosen at random from all the correct entries.

Closing date: Midnight, Friday December 29 2017.

All entrants will be added to the list of readers receiving our weekend email newsletter, but you can unsubscribe at any time.

Best of luck!