The Full Story
Tess and Terry met in 2004. Tess was a young pastry chef working at Hampton Court Palace when Terry turned up to interview for the Head Chef position, one glance over a floured table, and the rest, as they say, is history!
Tess knew from a very young age that she wanted to be a chef. One of her earliest memories is standing on a stool in the kitchen back in Zimbabwe, learning how to cook scrambled eggs with her maid, Rebecca. She received a baking book from one of her uncles Jim, and spent most weekends baking. There were a few disasters, but you can’t succeed unless you fail! She left home at 17 and trained at Silwood Kitchens in Cape Town. Following an intense three-year course where she gained valuable experience in some of the top hotels and restaurants in Cape Town, she moved to the U.K in 2003. She spent a few years working in hotels and visitor attractions focussing mainly on patisserie, before moving into product development within bakeries. Her most recent job, before taking on The Cook in The Nook was for world-renowned Fiona Cairns in Fleckney. Tess spent 4 thoroughly enjoyable years at Fiona Cairns doing product development for some of the best department stores in London. She always had the passion and drive to start her own business, and when the stars aligned, she jumped at the opportunity… and hasn’t looked back!
Terry fell into catering in the 80’s. What was meant to just be a summer job washing pots in a bistro in Leicester, turned out to be the start of his catering career. After moving to London and working there for a few years, he jumped on a plane to Australia and spent the next 6 years traveling and working in hotels, restaurants, and bars around the globe. Back in Blighty he worked as an executive head chef in many visitor attractions including Kew Gardens, as well as running the entire catering operation at Windsor for the 2012 Olympics! He climbed the corporate ladder to reach the dizzy heights of Culinary Director for Centerplate UK, before giving it all up to join Tess in her new venture. At the ripe old age of 50, after a few stressful weeks in the kitchen at the Nook, Terry finally found his true calling and now loves being out front, chatting to everyone (and anyone), and he is very good at it!
We are passionate about using and supporting local suppliers, and we really do mean that! We try to be as ethical and eco-friendly with our supplies as we can be.
The delicious coffee we use is ethically grown, sustainably sourced, and proudly roasted in Great Glen by the lovely lads at St Martins Coffee Roasters. It comes in recyclable packaging too! Every one of our baristas is personally trained by Andy at St Martins before they’re let loose on the machine.
Our milk is produced by Fulmore Dairy (a mile away) by a herd of Jersey Cow and is delivered to us every morning in reusable churns. We store the milk in jugs eliminating the use of single-use plastic.
Our oat milk from Wild and Furrow in Marston Trussell, Market Harborough is delivered weekly in glass bottles which we then return the following week. It recently won a silver award at the Weetabix Food & Drink awards, and is available to buy from our coffee shop.
The delicious bread we serve comes daily from Milners bakery in Blaby, our eggs are from Kimcote, and the delicious sausages we serve are handmade by the Butcher next door! Even the brown sauce and ketchup we use is made and delivered by the lovely Dawn at Preserves by No. 14.
We make and bake everything on site ourselves using the best local ingredients. Tess puts a huge amount of thought and care into all of the dishes and bakes she creates, and we hope they shine through onto your plate and into your belly!