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Meet the Chef : Kevin Wigglesworth

Meet the Chef : Kevin Wigglesworth

The Operations Chef of the Bar & Grills at Individual Restaurants shares his recipe for the perfect béarnaise sauce


 Lancashire born Kevin Wigglesworth, Operations Chef at Individual Restaurants, boasts an impressive CV. Introduced to the art of cooking at a young age by his older brother, Wigglesworth built his career at some of the most respected restaurants in the UK including: Chez Nico and Le Gavroche, where he worked alongside Gordon Ramsey under Albert Roux OBE; the man he credits with teaching him the art of ‘happy cooking’ and ending every service with a smile.

He joined Individual Restaurants as Head Chef of The Restaurant Bar & Grill Manchester in 2005, on his return to the North West, and hasn’t looked back since, working with the acclaimed restaurant group to open and establish eight award-winning restaurants across the UK, including the notable

Opera Grill, Chester. Standing out from the crowd, the restaurant, housed in a grand Grade II listed building, is recognised for its internationally inspired dishes, using outstanding ingredients. At the heart of the menu is the restaurant’s impressive theatre charcoal grill and wood burning oven from which Opera Grill specialises in serving some of the best steak cuts from around the world, provided by its very own butcher in Cheshire.

It’s a style of cooking used by revered chefs worldwide and on which Wigglesworth passionately states “there is no better way to cook. You need to get the coals and flames right, that’s an art in itself, but once you’ve mastered that, it’s brilliant. It creates the perfect flavour.” For those that prefer seafood to steak there’s an equally inspiring selection available from the restaurant’s raw bar and fish and shellfish menu, with 25-metre display fridges proudly displaying the fresh produce. A wide selection of salads, meat and poultry, and classic dishes complement, ensuring that all tastes are catered for at the stunning 400-cover, two-floor restaurant and bar.

“With Opera Grill we really wanted to bring theatre on a grand scale to food and drink,” said Wigglesworth. “Our internationally inspired menu combines dishes from all corners of the globe, sourced from the world’s best suppliers.” 

Chef’s Recipe
Béarnaise Sauce


2 egg yolks , Teaspoon of tarragon vinegar , 110ml white wine vinegar , 1 bay leaf , 1 small packet broken tarragon stalks , 1 shallot, finely chopped , 125g clarified butter , 1 small packet of fresh tarragon , 25ml fresh lemon juice 


Tarragon Vinegar 

  • First make your tarragon vinegar placing the white wine vinegar, bay leaf, broken tarragon stalks and finely chopped shallot in a pan. Cook over a low heat until the mixture has reduced by half 

  • Take off the heat and sieve the liquid into a separate bowl 

  • Leave to cool 

Béarnaise Sauce 

  • Gently whisk the egg yolks, tarragon vinegar and a tablespoon of cold water in a bowl, over a pan of simmering water. This slowly cooks the egg without causing it to scramble 

  • Keep whisking the ingredients until you reach a ribbon-like texture. Don’t be too vigorous or this will cause the ingredients to split 

  • Remove the mix from the heat and slowly add the clarified butter, whisking it continuousl until it reaches a thicker consistency 

  • When it coats the back of a spoon you’ve reached the right consistency 

  • Add in 25ml of lemon juice along with the finely chopped tarragon, gently stirring all the time 

  • Season with salt to taste and pour into a serving jug 

  • Keep at room temperature and serve immediately 

Top Tips 

  • Keep the eggs and butter at the same temperature to avoid the ingredients from splitting 

  • If you feel the mix becoming too thick, add a little water 


Opera Grill

3 Pepper Street, Chester, CH1 1DF

t: 01244 343 888 e: w:


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