Barry Hyde, frontman with The Futureheads, is training to be a chef.
The 32-year-old singer took the opportunity to pursue a long-held interest in cookery while the band are on an extended break. For the last two weeks he’s been working at Juniper’s Pantry deli in Sunderland, one of the top fine dining destinations in the North East.
“I’m at the bottom of the ladder,” Hyde told NME. “I get to wear the whites, but I mainly do preparation, get shouted at and clean up after messy chefs.”
Hyde says he became interested in food thanks to Gang Of Four’s Andy Gill, who co-produced The Futureheads’ self-titled 2004 debut album.
Hyde met Juniper’s Pantry owner, David Gill, when Gill helped organise the Gourmet Tent at the Split festival in Sunderland, run by The Futureheads. When Gill advertised for a trainee chef, Hyde applied.
“There are similarities between music and food,” Hyde said. “They are both about creating something that exists in a moment in time, then it’s gone and it’s never quite the same next time you do it.”
During his first two weeks, Hyde cooked 200 roast potatoes and prepared over a hundred pies. It hasn’t all been plain sailing, though. “I managed to burn 50 Yorkshire puddings last week,” he said.
Hyde eventually wants to own his own restaurant. “I also want to work in Michelin starred restaurants like La Gavroche and Nobu,” he said, “and travel the world learning about different country’s cuisines.”
Hyde is keen to stress that his new career doesn’t mean the end of The Futureheads. “I don’t think we’ll ever break up,” he said. “It’s just that we’ve been doing he band almost constantly for 10 years and we all wanted to do something different. We’ll definitely be back, but for the moment we’re on hold and I’m concentrating on this.”