Meet Kris Wydnski
Head Chef at the Shepherd and Dog
Kris joined the Shepherd and Dog team in late 2013, taking over as head chef from owner David Pearse, who moved into a general manager’s role.
Kris brings nearly 20 years of experience in a variety of casual and fine dining, and has worked in both small and large venues. Under his leadership, the Shepherd and Dog kitchen team focuses on locally sourced meat and produce and strives to use only serve the freshest ingredients.
My inspiration to become a chef came from the tradition of my home and family in Poland.
We used to prep and cook almost everything from basic ingredients.
We made everything from fresh stock for soups, making our own pasta, mushroom tortelini or a meaty ravioli, all sorts of potato dumplings, rabbit paté, and cakes.
If there was ever a family celebration or bank holiday then we did it all together with my grandma and auntie.
While they were cooking I was peeling, mincing and counting how much ravioli was already done. Every Saturday morning – and by morning I mean 5.30 or 6 o’clock – I used to go to the farmers market help mum bring all food home, and then I would help her in the kitchen for a bit.
I always wanted to sleep till 10 and then play football with boys and then watch some cartoons, but I also liked watching my mum and doing little things for her in the kitchen – pan frying the pancakes, making the rosti – but most of all helping with cakes.
It’s a no-brainer that my favourite flavour at the time was sweet!
What got you into food?
I chose to go to catering school. After this my role in the family kitchen changed a bit. It was my mum helping me in the kitchen and everybody wanted to try something new.
They were good times, seeing the people I know and love enjoying food and the company of each other, the combination of our family simple food and my new inputs into it, small twists and extra flavours, a little change here and new bit there.
I think that working at the Shepherd and Dog is a bit like that place from my childhood.
I can see the people and have a good chat with them, get to know them a bit, interact, and do something new but mix it with food they like.
Favourite kitchen gadget?
For almost 20 years now I have worked in different kitchens from small independent companies, pubs, and fine dining restaurants to big hotels and even bigger ones.
I’ve been lucky enough to use all sorts of gadgets I could imagine, from the most basic oven to the very best combi ovens, small hand blenders to automatic heavy duty mixers, kitchen aid, ice cream makers, Pacojet, Vitamix, Thermomix and equipment most people have never heard of.
It all works to make my life in the kitchen easier and allows me to prepare food that otherwise I would struggle to do make without it.
However, basics come first!
- Read the Restaurants Brighton review for the Shepherd and Dog
- Read the Shepherd and Dog Feature
- Make a Booking on 01273 857382 – it would be great if you mention Restaurants Brighton when you do!