In the Press

Chef at award-winning Italian restaurant achieves first stage towards Michelin star

The head chef and owner of Stafford's award-winning Italian restaurant Vivere has achieved the first stage of his training towards winning a Michelin star.
John Corser, Express & Star,  23rd February 2024.

Babak Taherkhani has completed training with internationally renowned Michelin star chef Clare Smyth at her Core restaurant in London.
He said: “It was one of the proudest moments in my life to work alongside a world-renowned chef and receive my Chef Academy diploma for the Michelin star chef course in front of the famous Michelin window."

Clare Smyth is the first and only British female chef to be awarded three Michelin stars for her restaurant Core by Clare Smyth in Notting Hill, London. Clare has appeared on television shows such as Masterchef and Saturday Kitchen and notably catered for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding.
Clare herself trained under world-renowned chefs Thomas Keller and Alain Ducasse, and worked alongside Gordon Ramsey before opening her own restaurants in London and Sydney.
Clare Smyth with Babak Taherkhani of Vivere Stafford - Express & Star, John Corser
"Training to be a Michelin chef with Clare has been mind-blowing," said Babak, who is the only Iranian-born chef to achieve the Michelin chef diploma. “The team at Core by Clare Smyth are so talented and working alongside them in recent weeks has been so inspiring. I have many new ideas to bring back to Staffordshire."

While working at Core by Clare Smyth, Babak also had the opportunity to work alongside head chef Jonny Bone, who has worked with Clare Smyth for more than 10 years and has spent time in renowned kitchens which include Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, Frederic Simonin in Paris, Geranium and Blue Hill at Stone Barns.

“Working alongside Jonny Bone during my training was a pleasure and an inspiration. He is so enthusiastic, and his personality is just totally infectious.” said Babak who is rapidly working his way up to being one of the top chefs in the county.
Babak has a passion for food and a drive for success.

Having run Vivere in Foregate Street for more than 16 years he is constantly pushing himself and his team to create new and innovative dishes with much of the ingredients being sourced directly from Italy. Last year his restaurant was awarded Best Restaurant in Staffordshire in the England Business Awards.
Babak is working towards becoming a Michelin star chef in English, French and Italian cuisine.

"If we win £100k top prize all of my staff will get £1k"

Italian restaurant in Foregate Street has been nominated for a coveted food industry award.
Samuel Hodgkiss, The Staffordshire Newsletter 8 June 2022.

An independent restaurant boss has promised his staff a £1,000 bonus each if the venue wins the top prize in a coveted industry contest.
Vivere, in Stafford, is the only Italian restaurant in the region to be short-listed for Uber Eats Restaurant of the Year, which has a top prize of £100,000 to invest in the business.
Vivere is owned by 47 year old Babak Teherkhani since 2008, which he runs alongside his wife Dorrieh, 40.

Babak, who is also the venue's head Chef said " If we win the £100,000, that money will be going straight back into the business. I've also said to my staff that if we win the full award I will give every single member of staff £1,000".

He also said: "I think anyone who comes from outside of town and wants to eat Italian food; people will always say come to Vivere. We have a signature dish of Linguine Alla Marinara, which consists of mixed seafood cooked with a white wine pasta and topped with parsley.
"I think what people like most is that the style of food I do for the home delivery is something other people just can't do. People enjoy it because it's fresh and they get the same feelings of eating the food at home as they do in the restaurant.
Vivere Stafford

"I feel humbled that my restaurant has made it through to be short-listed for the Uber Eats award. Uber Eats are one of the leading platforms in the UK serving and supporting independent restaurants like mine.

Vivere, in Foregate Street, has been commended for its food in recent years, having been a finalist in the English Italian Awards in 2016 for best family restaurant and best pasta.

Babak himself trained as a chef in Monteflavio, Italy, with his Uncle Ghods in one of the country's five-star hotels.

He has continued to develop his skills for Italian cuisine over the years, including a recent master-class with celebrity Chef Max Mariola.

Early this year, Uber Eats asked customers to nominate their favourite restaurants from across the UK and Ireland to compete for the Uber Eats Restaurant of the Year Award 2022. The short-list of just 10 restaurants from the Midlands and East Anglia region was published.

The top restaurant from each region will then be judged including restaurateur and Great British Bake Off judge Prue Leith and vegan chef Rachel Ama. The ultimate winner will receive £100,000 to help develop their business.

Babak said: "I know that if we get to perform in front of the judge, I will blow them away with my food. i just hope to get the chance to experience that and show them what we can do here".

Dame Prue Leith, cook, restaurateur, TV presenter and author, said "Opening your own restaurant is desperately hard work, nerve-racking and expensive. But there are few things as exciting and satisfying.

"I'm delighted to work with Uber Eats to crown their first Restaurant of the Year and shine a light on some extraordinary people and restaurants. They are the future of the industry and I'm looking forward to discovering pioneers across the UK and Ireland and of course to eating some amazing food".

Matthew Price, Uber Eats general manager, said: "There are so many amazing independent restaurants on Uber Eats and the short-list really demonstrates the vast amount of options and cuisines available across the UK and Ireland. I can't wait to see the fantastic stories that are brought to light, try some of the best food available on our high streets up and down the country and recognise the pioneers and innovators shaping the future of our restaurant industry".