Above the shop

Daryl Chadwick is furnishing Barker and Stonehouse with great food as Liz Hands discovers
Daryl Chadwick has something of a reputation for bringing the Midas touch to any venture he is involved with. 

daryl-chadwickHe was part of the partnership which brought the Imperial Express to Darlington’s Grange Road area, and the café, a favourite, is still going strong.
Chadwick was also behind the eponymous D.P Chadwicks, something of an institution in Yarm, and Café Lilli in Norton, which successfully followed the buzzy continental-style café format. Now, he has opened Chadwick & Co Coffee House and Kitchen in something of an unexpected location, inside the new Barker and Stonehouse store on Teesside Retail Park, Stockton.

Chadwick has brought in business partner Nathan Baker, and the pair have put together not only the type of snack menu you might expect to find in an in-store restaurant, but also the kind of dishes that wouldn’t look out of place on the tasting menu of a fine-dining venue. When we visit, the day before Great British Bake Off favourite Mary Berry is due to officially open the new Barker and Stonehouse, Chadwick is serving up plates of perfectly poached salmon, with an impeccably balanced mix of pickles offset with sweet sultanas.

It’s one of a selection of specials which change weekly, using locally sourced ingredients. Bread and brioche is baked fresh on-site, while eggs come from Phil Twizell at nearby West Newbiggin Farm, cured bacon comes from Godfreys, meat from Halls of Sedgefield and fresh fish from Alan Hodgson.

Dishes are designed to be eaten tapas-style, with small and large plates so you can mix and match, choosing as many as you want. For spring, the menu features the likes of braised pork cheek pie with creamed potatoes and green beans; peppered flat iron steak with forestiere mushrooms; and salad with kohlrabi, fennel, grilled brie, truffle oil and seeds.

It’s hard to see how you could resist trying at least a handful of dishes, even if you had only intended to pop upstairs for a coffee after browsing the inspirational in-store room sets put together by Barker and Stonehouse’s talented creative manager Claire Hornby.

Chadwick’s success is, in no small part, down to the fact that he is a natural host. “If you’re in the restaurant game just for business reasons, then you’re in it for the wrong reasons,” he says.

It’s not a game Chadwick originally planned to get in to. Straight out of school, he joined the Parachute Regiment, but it wasn’t for him. He went on to work in a succession of hotels and restaurants before launching his own ventures.

“I was supported by the local community and by a great chef at Chadwicks, but wanderlust kicked in,” he says. “I bought an old wooden yacht and went off sailing around the Mediterranean for five years, taking guests on sailing trips and cooking. I went to the Alps in the winter, teaching people to ski, and cooking.”

He came back and opened Café Lilli. “I’d just become a father, so it was time to set down anchor, although we still get to Greece now and again,” says Chadwick.

Chadwick’s success has, perhaps, never been more important, considering he and his wife Rose, parents to Frances, have another baby on the way. But he isn’t fazed, describing sleepless nights with a new baby as like keeping watch while sailing.

The sailing analogy is an apt one. Surveying the store beneath him from atop the timber-floored level, Chadwick could almost be keeping lookout. The wood panelling which decorates the back wall of the restaurant has come from old boats and the artwork adorning the walls is a series of watery-scene photographs taken in Venice by a friend.

It’s a setting Chadwick hopes will attract not just the casual diner, but those who see Chadwick and Co as a destination restaurant, somewhere to enjoy the sunshine from the about-to-open terrace, and to eat before heading to the cinema nearby.

So long as his diners appreciate him setting down anchor above the shop floor, he should have another Chadwick success on his hands.

Chadwick’s, Barker & Stonehouse, Teesside Retail Park, Haydock Park Road Stockton, TS17 7BG
tel 01642 230 988, www.barkerandstonehouse.co.uk

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