Ex-army chef ends up back at his pub culinary roots

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Related tags: Cooking, Listed building, Chelmsford

Pub chef Jim Wilkinson is going back to his roots in the trade with a return to the Green Man in the Essex village of Howe Street.The Ridley's pub is...

Pub chef Jim Wilkinson is going back to his roots in the trade with a return to the Green Man in the Essex village of Howe Street.

The Ridley's pub is the oldest in Essex, going back to the early 15th century, and has also played a prominent role in Jim's personal career history.

After leaving the Army, where he cooked for most of the Royal family and many dignitaries during official visits to bases in England and abroad, a stint at the Green Man was Jim's first experience cooking for pub customers. Now Jim and his wife Anne (pictured)​ have taken over the pub as licensees, after nearly five years at the nearby Pig & Whistle in Chignal Smealey.

Jim said: "We're now back again and settling into this wonderful old Grade II listed building bursting with character."

Anne added: "The wonderful atmosphere here, combined with Jim's home-made food, has made the pub so popular that this year, in conjunction with Ridley's, we are planning some great improvements to the pub without compromising its character.

"In addition to Jim's extensive à la carte menu, we will be introducing a carvery in the near future."

Land at the rear of the pub, going down to the River Chelmer, also means there is space for village events such as beer festivals and bonfire night celebrations.

Related topics: Chefs

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