Chris Rees, Head Chef for The River Room Restaurant at Galgorm Resort and Spa, creates dishes that are true to the ingredients, showcasing local artisan producers with menus that change daily. His menus are packed with seasonal ingredients sourced from carefully selected local suppliers and the Resort’s very own kitchen garden, all imaginatively served to complement an extensive wine list.
Having joined the Resort as Sous Chef in 2009, Chris quickly worked his way, becoming Head Chef in 2012. Following his four-year stint as Head Chef, he worked for nearly three years in Ox before returning home to the kitchens of the Galgorm Resort & Spa as Executive Head Chef.
Chris is passionate about using local produce and promoting the taste of Northern Ireland. He sources the best of produce for his menu but also grows a portion of what he needs (weather permitting of course) – including cress and courgettes - in the Resort greenhouse.
He has always loved ‘messing about’ in the kitchen and grew up experimenting with lots of recipes – he gave everything a go. Now, with his wealth of experience, he is always searching for quality ingredients and is inspired by his peers to make fine dining into fun dining.
Chris’ signature style at the Resort is to keep things simple and sustainable - quality produce is paramount and creativity with ingredients is apparently the key. As Executive Head Chef, he enjoys the freedom of creativity the River Room menu allows as one of only four restaurants in Northern Ireland to be awarded 3 AA Rosettes for culinary excellence. It embodies the ethos of Galgorm in its menu and dishes, offering a unique and memorable dining experience.
When asked what’s next for Chris and the River Room, his answer is reflected in his relaxed kitchen style. Although he wants to keep striving on and earning accolades for the restaurant, he has three key mottos for the kitchen; keep standards high, enjoy creativity and make dining fun. Sounds like words to live by.