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Chef news
A Salisbury pub has celebrated opening its new restaurant by serving 72 meals in an hour and a half. The Kings Arms in Dowton relaunched following a...

A Salisbury pub has celebrated opening its new restaurant by serving 72 meals in an hour and a half.

The Kings Arms​ in Dowton relaunched following a 10-week refurbishment funded by Armanda finance. Licensees, Jackie and Nick Sayer, launched the 50-cover restaurant to coincide with the village's annual cuckoo fair over the early May bank holiday weekend. The pair sold more than 1,000 beefburgers to diners.

Michelin-starred gastro pub, Blenheim in Etwall, Derbyshire, has appointed Gary Crozier​ head chef. Hosts Carole and Peter Simpson have challenged Crozier to take the venue's food to "the next level". Crozier, who has worked in several gastro pubs, aims to offer a selection of English classics with a modern twist. "I'll be changing the menu according to what's in season to get the best out of the products at their optimum quality," he says.

Ryan Patterson​, chef at the Cock & Bull Inn in Balmedie, has scooped the Grampian Chef of the Year prize. The 24-year-old's winning dishes included pan-seared trout, mustard and kale "rumble thumps" and baked ginger parkin, rhubarb compote and custard. Patterson received a commemorative trophy, £300 prize money and one night's accommodation at David Wilson's Peat Inn in Fife.

The Processed Vegetable Growers Association​ has announced details of the Great British Pub & Restaurant Challenge 2004. Chefs will be challenged on 27 July to devise a healthy menu including a pea dish at the Thomas Danby College, Leeds. Entrants must prepare a starter and a main course in under 45 minutes with the successful chef winning a weekend for two in Paris.

Gastro bar The Priory​ has opened in Clerkenwell. Owners, Lee Bradshaw and Sarj Chotai, who also own the Angelic in Islington, have created an industrial-themed venue serving traditional British dishes and homebrewed ales. Head chef Pablo Scalise, who has worked at the Eagle and the Hope & Anchor, will serve dishes including grilled scallops with broad-bean purée and bacon. The 80-cover venue will serve its own label, Priory ale.

Independent pub operator Nicholl's Country Inns​ has launched its second venue, the Russell in Buckinghamshire. The revamped Ellesborough pub includes a 60-cover restaurant and will serve a locally sourced menu with an emphasis on seafood. Dishes include panfried king prawn salad with red pepper relish and soy honey dressing (£6.25). Co-owner Greg Nichol, who has worked as a chef in Gleneagles and St Andrews, says: "I want the Russell to build a reputation for the best food in the area. It's about giving the customers simple but excellent quality food."

A Lancashire pub has been awarded the title of Supreme Kitchen and Caterer of the Year by brewer, Daniel Thwaites. The Ship Inn​, at Caton near Lancaster, beat competition from across the Thwaites estate to secure the accolade. Licensees Susan Jones and Ken Burrows, who have been at the pub for 10 years, say: "We have taken care to build up the catering side and are now reaping the benefits. This award reflects a lot of hard work."

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