Featured Chef

Meet Hannah Black, Head Chef of Platform 1, Dartmouth, a Champagne Bar and Seafood Restaurant

Posted on
30 Sep 2021

Hannah was born in Brixham, Devon and having a trawlerman dad meant she spent a lot of time from an early age surrounded by all things seafood related. Her Dad’s strong work ethic rubbed off on her and she rapidly worked her way up through the local hospitality industry including stints as a waitress, fishmonger, kitchen porter and chef.

After travelling extensively through Asia and working in Australia at the prestigious North Bondi Fish in Sydney, Hannah returned to Devon. She spent 18 months working with Elly Wentworth at The Angel, Dartmouth before being offered the position of Head Chef at Platform 1. Hannah and her team went all out to introduce and perfect a fantastic new menu concentrating on locally sourced seafood. Her affinity with the sea and seafood was evident in the menu she created. The reputation of the restaurant has gone from strength to strength under Hannah’s leadership, recently winning a silver award in Taste of the West Hospitality & Retail Awards 2020/2021.

What prompted you to become a chef?

I was working as a waitress at the Churston Golf Club when one of the chefs left unexpectedly. They desperately needed somebody to help out in the kitchen, I was chucked in at the deep end and I loved it! I learnt so much from the Head Chef there, Dave Downs, who was a fantastic teacher. Whilst travelling in Australia I also ended up working at North Bondi Fish in Sydney which was a very inspirational place. Australians are very keen on Asian style fish and here I learnt all about raw fish preparation techniques. When I came back to Devon I worked at The Angel, Dartmouth, with Elly Wentworth and then I was offered the Head Chef job at Platform 1.

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

Platform 1 recently won a silver award in the restaurant category in the Taste of the West Hospitality & Retail awards. I was really proud of this as the endless amount of hours the team put into developing the new menu during a time when we didn’t know whether we were coming or going because of COVID, as well as us being a first time entry, all meant that I was so very pleased to receive this award. After such difficult times in the hospitality industry, it was a fantastic boost for the team to hear such positive comments from the judges and to receive recognition for all the hard work involved in turning around this venue in Dartmouth into an award-winning seafood restaurant.

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

Devon has some of the best produce around, being a rural agricultural area as well as so close to the sea, you could never dream of getting fresher ingredients. For example, we can really take advantage of this by getting fish straight off the trawlers in Brixham. This is literally only over the other side of the river from us. This makes Devon an amazing place to work as a chef.

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

Last week I went to Andria in Dartmouth for lunch. The food there is fantastic, all small plates of sharing food. In particular I enjoyed a plate of Devon chanterelle mushrooms, parmesan cream, slow cooked egg, chives, this dish was just amazing.

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

We are so lucky to have such fantastic seafood on our doorstep and we have great local suppliers, the Wright Bros who are great to deal with. I can’t chose just one, so it would have to be scallops AND monkfish! They are both so versatile and can be cooked and used in different ways. They are also both my favourite seafood to eat.

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