Chef Spotlight

Chef Spotlight: Meet Samantha Pounds of Harry’s Restaurant, Exeter

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Harry's Restaurant
Posted on
8 Jul 2024

We’re delighted that our July Chef Spotlight is shining on Head Chef and owner of a venue close to many people’s hearts… Harry’s Restaurant in Exeter. We asked Samantha Pounds about her career, restaurant and favourite Devon finds.

Over to Sam…

I am the chef proprietor at Harry’s Restaurant in Exeter. We have been established for over 30 years and are a local institution. I am proud of the brilliant community in the city and all of the amazing people we work with and serve.

What prompted you to become a chef?

Food is both sustenance and one of life’s greatest pleasures. To me there is nothing more enjoyable than sitting around a table with amazing wine, delicious food and great friends.

I grew up cooking to feed all of my siblings, then later on my own kids, and now I cook for the lovely customers of Harry’s. Be it a quick pit stop at lunch or a full sit down four course meal, I take pride in serving each and every dish with love.

What has been your greatest achievement/proudest moment in your career?

I am fortunate to have worked alongside so many lovely people and am thrilled to have built Harry’s with all of my girls around me. I love the community we have created with so many wonderful returning customers, be it locals or out of town-ers that continue to revisit over the years. Our enduring longevity could not be achieved without these key ingredients!

What makes Devon such a great place to work as a chef? 

Everything! The countryside, our farms and coastlines, the fantastic larder and all that it provides for us!

We are very lucky to live in such an amazing place, there is an abundance of local produce. At Harry’s, I love to work with the seasons and where possible we love to source locally, from bread to wine we work with our amazing suppliers to ensure the best products for our customers.

Where would you go to dine out on a night off?

Well now that depends on the occasion… a local date night regularly includes The Firehouse in Exeter for a superb pizza and a refreshing local pint of Devon Red. For a special night out my go-tos are Lympstone Manor or The Seahorse in Dartmouth. They never disappoint!

What is your favourite Devon ingredient/product to use in your dishes? And why?

Devon Ruby Red Beef. I grew up on a farm in Devon, so cows and beef stock are dear to my heart. Harry’s is primarily steak lead and I love working with our butchers at Dart’s Farm. I genuinely believe that the Ruby Red steak is a ‘cut’ above any other, perhaps because it tastes of the Devon soil and sea air that I grew up with.

For more information about Harry’s Restaurant, Longbrook Street, Exeter visit the website HERE.

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