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Meet Jeff the Chef

Written by Jen Chapman, 7th February 2024

Jeff Gardner is Executive Chef at The Reader and creates the delicious menus for the Cafe, Garden Parties and private events from conferences, to celebrations of life and weddings. Here we shine the spotlight on him to find out a little more about his love of food and what's coming up to look forward to for foodies.

Hi Jeff! Tell us a bit about your career history.

I started my career at Colquitt Street College, completing NVQ Level 1&2 and a diploma in professional cookery, which helped me on my way to my first job at the Crowne Plaza hotel Liverpool city centre. In three years I reached junior sous chef level, which help me gain experience to become head chef at 23 years of age at Amber Wine Bar & Bistro located on Rose Lane, Mossley Hill for seven years. After that I worked around the city, with last my job working at Three Piggies on Allerton road. I have a great passion for working in the South Liverpool area.

What attracted you to come and work at the Reader?

The Reader attracted my interest through its good work in the charity sector to bring people together through the power of shared reading. This was my chance to be able to give back to people who need it most by showcasing everything I’ve learnt in my career through my passion of food.


What is your approach to cooking, and why?

My approach to cooking is always to try to use local and sustainable ingredients which help me create dishes where I can push boundaries or keep it simple and comforting if need be. I use all my experience to make sure I get the right balance for the occasion when writing menus.

What's next for food at The Reader?

The food offer at the Reader is constantly evolving and myself and my team are always looking at ways to bring people together. The Mansion House café will be launching the spring summer menu in April, also will be delivering roast dinner events for Mother’s Day and Easter Sunday and an Easter Family Tea Party on Good Friday with lots of homemade treats. In May, we'll also have some great garden party events with foods from around the world.

Shared Reading is a really powerful tool to help people connect - but what food do you think is brilliant at bringing people together?

I don’t think these a certain food that brings people together, but I do believe food plays a big part of every occasion that brings people together, like weddings, Christmas, birthdays and celebrations. Food whatever it may be, brings a sense comfort and happiness.

See the Mother's Day Roast menu, and make a booking here.
See the Easter Sunday Roast menu, and make a booking here. 
See the Easter Family Tea Party menu, and make a booking menu here.






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