A proud Yorkhireman, third-generation farmer’s son and two-time Great British Menu winner, chef Tommy Banks started his career in food at the tender age of 17. Entirely self-taught, he took over his family-owned pub The Black Swan as head chef in 2012. The following year, the restaurant retained its star, making Banks Britain’s youngest Michelin-starred chef — and in 2021 it scooped a coveted Michelin Green Star for its commitment to sustainable practices (that same year, Roots, a sister restaurant in York opened by Banks, was also awarded a star).
Rémy Martin’s collaboration with this talented chef was sparked by its two-year global partnership with the Michelin Guide, sponsoring the Green Star category, connection sparked by the shared values and a mutual interest in sustainability. Banks also shares that passion. “Growing up on a small farm, sustainability is at the forefront of what I’m doing, from having as few food miles as possible to keeping everything super-local — also, utilising everything to its full potential.”
As part of his authentic, ingredient-led practice, the chef continues to use produce grown on the Banks family farm. Traditional methods are also essential, from foraging to preserving. “I care deeply about the land that we grow on as it gives a really unique flavour to everything we cook. Yorkshire is an incredible foodie county. We’ve got some of the best produce in the world."