Fergus Henderson

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For the computer scientist, see Fergus Henderson (computer scientist).
Fergus Henderson
OSFC 2009 2 Tilson.JPG
Fergus Henderson at the Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery, September 2009
Born 1963 (age 52–53)
London, England
Culinary career
Cooking style British cuisine

Fergus Henderson (born 31 July 1963)[1] is an English chef who founded St John restaurant on St John Street in London. He is often noted for his use of offal and other neglected cuts of meat as a consequence of his philosophy of nose to tail eating. Following in the footsteps of his parents, Brian and Elizabeth Henderson, he trained as an architect at the Architectural Association in London. Most of his dishes are derived from traditional British cuisine and the wines are all French.

Chefs Anthony Bourdain and Mario Batali have both praised Henderson for his dishes, which optimise British food while making full use of the whole animal. A. A. Gill famously retracted his initial hostility to St John in the Sunday Times.[2]

Early career[edit]

Henderson had no formal training in cooking, and has never worked under any other chef. Before opening the St John restaurant that made his name, he and his wife Margot ran the French House in Soho for some years.


In 1994, Henderson opened St John restaurant in London. The menu changes daily, but almost always includes Roast Bone Marrow and Parsley Salad. It was awarded a Michelin star in 2009.[3]

In 2003 he opened St John Bread and Wine in Spitalfields, London. A second St John restaurant located within the hotel in Chinatown was awarded a Michelin star in 2009. This venue is no longer open.

Nose to Tail Books[edit]

In 1999 Henderson published Nose to Tail Eating: A Kind of British Cooking in which he provides recipes incorporating trotters, tripe, kidneys, chitterlings and other animal parts.[4] The book explains the philosophy behind his cooking explaining that "it seems common sense and even polite to the animal to use all of it. Rather than being testosterone-fuelled blood-lust, it actually seems to be a gentle approach to meat eating."[5] In 2007, he published a sequel, Beyond Nose To Tail, and in 2012 The Complete Nose to Tail: A Kind of British Cooking.


Henderson opened a hotel in Spring 2011, described by his business partner Trevor Gulliver as 'in the St John vernacular'.[6] It is located in London's Chinatown district near Leicester Square 1 Leicester Street.

Parkinson's Disease[edit]

Henderson's stoic approach to Parkinson's Disease,[7] with which he was diagnosed in 1998, increased the regard in which he was held and he was awarded an MBE in 2005. The same year he underwent innovative Deep Brain Stimulation which vastly improved his mobility.


  1. ^ "Birthdays". The Guardian (Guardian Media). 31 July 2014. p. 33. 
  2. ^ John Heilpern (October 2010). "Out to Lunch with Fergus Henderson". Vanity Fair (Conde Nast). 
  3. ^ "New Michelin Guide Great Britain & Ireland 2009". Retrieved 2009-01-18. 
  4. ^ Henderson, Fergus (September 2004). Nose to Tail Eating: A Kind of British Cooking. Bloomsbury Publishing. ISBN 0-7475-7257-7. 
  5. ^ Douglas, Ian, The Daily Telegraph (October 25, 2004). Swine of the Times
  6. ^ Kuhn, Kerstin, caterersearch.com (October 9, 2009)St John Team to Launch Hotel in London's West End
  7. ^ http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2006/feb/26/foodanddrink.features6

External links[edit]