“Crawl on your hands and knees to get there if you have to…”
When Hyssop first opened as a pop up, what could be better than a 5-Star review in the Manchester Evening News telling readers to crawl there!*
It was also shortlisted for a Manchester Food and Drink Festival (MFDF) award in the ‘Pop Up’ category.
Hyssop is a partnership between Paul Sykes, Jess Hine and their friend William Webb.
Paul and Jess have impressive cheffing credentials, Paul working with the likes of Gordon Ramsay and pastry chef Jess among the team that launched Stockport’s Where the Light Gets In. It won the review headline from The Guardian: ‘The most exciting food I’ve eaten in years’.
Eventually opening Hyssop in its permanent site, 54 High Street, Glossop, this is what the couple tweeted when the new kitchen was installed (design and installation by Greens Kitchens):
‘What a week it’s been! We can’t believe we finally have the kitchen of our dreams. A huge thank you to Richard at @greens_kitchens and Ian at @charvetpremierranges and to Tony & Adam the engineers who fitted our suite yesterday ❤️
‘It’s been the hardest year ever, but thanks to the amazing support of our customers we are now lucky enough to now call ourselves the proud owners of this beautiful Charvet Suite. We are so in grateful and totally in love.
‘Onwards and upwards to bigger and better menus. We can not wait. Bring it on!’
Opening a restaurant just before the start of the covid pandemic did indeed ‘bring it on’ and this is what Paul says 18 months later.
“I worked with chefs such as Gordon Ramsey, Michael Caines and Simon Rogan and having worked my way up through the ranks and now with my partner Jess, we started with pop-ups.
“These proved successful, and we earned a lot of support from the local community who loved us being there.”
Hyssop earned rave reviews for its food and atmosphere. As closure came via the pandemic, take-away trade continued to boost the reputation, with TripAdvisor customers giving it 5-Star rating, 1st place out of 54 in Glossop and headlines using the words: ‘Wow, Stunning’.
“It has now been 18 months since we opened Hyssop permanently and then of course the covid pandemic hit. If we can get through this and survive by doing take-aways, we said, then the only way from there, is up!
“I am not saying I will earn 3 Michelin stars, but I do want to be recognised as a decent chef in my own right.
“That means not messing about but working with perfect cooking equipment. It’s just foolish not to.
“For 10 years I have done nothing but hard graft, up to 18 hours a day every day and now we have our own business.
“This is our lives and the lifestyle we choose. I am not going to work on equipment that’s hard to clean and look after or which makes my life difficult.
“I wanted something that’s not going to go wrong and will be there in 20 or 30 years for my team to take over.
“From floor to the top, from side to side, everything on the Charvet range is flush, easy to clean and it really does look the part as well as being great to cook on.”
“I chose Charvet because I had worked on it before. I worked with people who have this sort of equipment. If you look at the chefs most respected in our industry, they choose to work on quality equipment; everything they do is about quality."
“Clare Smythe – nothing but perfection. Matt Abe is of the same mindset, nothing but perfection. Tom Aikens, the same. These are chefs who have earned nothing less than the full respect of their peers."