Rising star Connor Black has joined Tom Kerridge’s restaurant, The Bull & Bear, in Manchester’s Stock Exchange Hotel on Norfolk Street, as Head Chef. The 25-year-old has an impressive background having worked for Tom for over a period of 10 years, previously as Sous Chef of the two-Michelin starred pub The Hand & Flowers and as Head Chef of The Shed, the pub’s intimate 10-cover private dining room.
The grand domed ‘bear pit’ dining room which was previously the trading floor of the Grade II listed Stock Exchange, will see Connor in his element at the pass. For those that love a bit of culinary theatre, the 12 seats at the kitchen counter put you in the heart of the action.
The new menu features Tom’s signature style of refined British classics, and Connor’s flair for maximising the flavour of each ingredient so each dish shines. The menu’s DNA is rooted in Marlow and begins with Table Snacks including Cheddar Cheese Scones with Marmite Butter, followed by Starters of Roasted Hand Dived Orkney Scallop with Pickled Crown Prince Pumpkin and Smoked Butter Sauce; Nettlebed Creamy Cheese Soufflé with Pickled Walnuts and Grape Salad or a Baked Linda Potato with Créme Fraîche and Raw Steak.
Mains range from a Rotisserie Dry Aged Udale Duck Breast with Caramelised Endive, Rhubarb and Garlic Sausage ‘Cassoulet’ and Fillet of Hereford 28-day Dry Aged Beef, Chips, Onion Rings, Tarragon and Green Peppercorn Sauce to Belly of Blythburgh Pork with Marmite Glazed Hasselback Artichoke, Smoked Hazelnuts and Pear Ketchup.
Sweets include Poached Rhubarb Trifle with Sweet Cream and Brown Butter Financier; Black Forest Choux Bun with Salted Chocolate Sauce and a ‘Lemon Meringue Pie’ with Blackcurrant Sorbet.
A set menu of two courses for £24.50 and three courses for £29.50 is available for lunch Thursday to Saturday and for dinner Wednesday to Friday and on Tuesday evenings from 8th March. Breakfast also showcases everything from Waffles and Vermont Maple Syrup to the B&B Full English.
The Bull & Bear Sunday roast is not to be missed, voted the best in the UK by Rate Good Roasts at the end of 2021, it’s easy to see why with dishes including, Dry Aged Hereford Rib of Beef with H&F Carrot, Buttered Kale and Roast Potatoes and a Rotisserie Roasted Herb Fed Chicken with Pigs in Blankets, Jerusalem Artichokes & Wild Mushrooms and a vegetarian option of Confit Mushroom Tart with Braised Turnip, Orange, Horseradish & Winter Truffle. A Sunday set menu is also available with two courses for £39 and three courses for £46.50.
The wine list overseen by Head Sommelier Daniel Loughlin offers over 40 by the glass with a strong European influence. Wines by the bottle range from Château Petrus and Mouton Rothschild to Nyetimber, Château Fleur de Bouard and La Rioja Alta. Cocktails and mocktails are carefully crafted like the Peanut Butter Old Fashioned with Peanut Butter Washed Bourbon, Banana and Chocolate to Lose the Booze with Seedlip Spice 94, Raspberry, Blackberry, Maple, Ginger Beer and Citrus. The spirit list features locally distilled gin and vodka as well as locally brewed beers and ale.
Connor will work alongside Head of Food and Beverage, Matthew Griffin who has recently joined the team bringing a wealth of experience with previous roles under chefs such as Jason Atherton and Mark Jarvis.
In addition to The Bull & Bear, Connor and his team also oversee The Bank, a private dining chef table experience for up to 14 guests. Here guests can enjoy a tailored dining experience, wine tasting event, or a bespoke private event.
On his appointment to Head Chef Connor Black said: “I am really excited to lead The Bull & Bear, I first worked for Tom Kerridge ten years ago and I am thrilled to be heading up the kitchen in Manchester, a city that is thriving as a foodie destination”.
Tom Kerridge added: “I remember first meeting Connor, a young lad with big culinary dreams. I am so proud of what he has achieved already, and with a decade of incredible experience behind him, I know his future looks just as bright.”
Jacqui Griffiths, GM at Stock Exchange Hotel said: “We are delighted that Connor has joined the team at Bull & Bear, and we are looking forward to the year ahead. His experience from kitchens around the world, will bring an exciting new dimension to the venue.