A rising young star in the culinary world is spearheading a new Hartlepool business - and he’s creating a tasty jobs boost into the bargain.
Jack Hunter, 20, is living the dream he has aimed for ever since he was a little boy in primary school.
Back then, he was already making Yorkshire puddings in the kitchen of his grandmother’s home.
Now, he is the supremo and head chef at the new Hunter’s restaurant which is aiming to open on Valentine’s Day at Navigation Point on Hartlepool Marina.
Sixteen jobs have been created at the venue which will serve modern British food with a contemporary twist.
Jack is so talented, he was helping to cook Sunday dinners when he was six. Now his dream of opening his own restaurant is coming true.
It is starting to come together quite quickly. It is excitement and it is nervousness, and I am incredibly proud. There are cookers coming in and I am watching my restaurant dream building. It is a really good feelingJack Hunter
The Hartlepool born and bred man said: “It is starting to come together quite quickly.
“It is excitement and it is nervousness, and I am incredibly proud. There are cookers coming in and I am watching my restaurant dream building. It is a really good feeling.”
The former English Martyrs student is believed to be one of the youngest restaurateurs in the region and plans to stay behind the scenes, cooking the meals for his clientele.
There will be three other staff in the kitchen and 12 front of house, at the venue which can cater for 44 people at a time.
The ex-Hartlepool College of Further Education student also studied at Gleneagles before coming home.
“I worked on a couple of jobs, but I always wanted to work for myself and have my own place. I always had that vision,” said Jack.
“Now that I am standing in it, it is a completely different feeling.”
Hunter’s will be open from Tuesdays to Sundays and it is thanks to the backing of proud dad Kevan, 57, that the restaurant is happening.
Jack said: “It was a big thing for me to get my dad’s approval to do it.”
Kevan, who works at Conoco Phillips, said: “I am very proud of what he has achieved.
“He has been into food from a very early age, from when he was six or seven and he did home-made pizzas.
“I always remember him going to his grandmother’s to help with the Sunday dinners when he was six and he would make the pudding mix.
“I have always been interested in food and watched programmes on Gordon Ramsay or Jamie Oliver and Jack would watch them with me.”
Jack has created his own menu and praised his friend James Stead for helping to set up the business.
Now it is all systems go to have everything ready for the launch on the most romantic night of the year.