With a fervent childhood passion for cookery and an Italian grandmother at the heart of the family, you could say Suzanne Russell was somewhat destined to become the successful chef she is today. Always fascinated by how the simplest of ingredients could create the most incredible flavours, Suzanne recalls experimenting in the kitchen at a very young age. Doubtless due in part to her Italian heritage, nowadays her cooking style is influenced by the country’s greatly differing regions, as well as the artistry of French cuisine combined with a love of modern British fare.
"...equipped with heaps of motivation and the desire to execute each dish perfectly..."
After training at Birmingham College of Food, Suzanne began climbing the culinary ladder, starting with six years at Jonathan’s Victorian Hotel and Restaurant – where she thrived among big characters in a banter-filled, male dominated environment typical of many a contemporary kitchen. Working her way from commis to senior sous chef, she cites this experience as both unique and inspirational – and no doubt character-building.
The chefs Suzanne has met along the way have helped her focus on the skills needed to succeed – timing, presentation, leadership, drive and patience. These hard-earned skills have been put to good use at Annexe – within just six months of being head chef there, Suzanne’s cooking made it one of the top restaurants in Birmingham.
She rates the triumphant feeling gleaned from the running of a professional service, as well as the daily challenges and scope for creativity afforded by an ever-evolving industry. Open to new ideas and concepts and equipped with heaps of motivation, Suzanne’s success looks set to continue for sure.