Great British Menu winner’s reaction

By Jo Bruce

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Great british menu, Heston blumenthal, The fat duck, Kingham plough

Emily Watkins is one of four chefs who won BBC Two's Great British Menu 2014
Emily Watkins is one of four chefs who won BBC Two's Great British Menu 2014
The winning pub chefs in Great British Menu 2014 have seen a big boost to trade since appearing in the nine-week show.

Emily Watkins executive chef/owner of the Kingham Plough in Kingham, Oxfordshire and James Durrant of the Plough at Longparish, Hampshire, were announced as two of the four series winners on Thursday (5 June) and cooked at a special banquet for war veterans at St Pauls Cathedral in London which was screened on Friday.

Watkins, who was also a finalist in last year's show and whose CV includes working at the Fat Duck with Heston Blumenthal, is also hosting a private dinner for 70 soldiers at her pub.

Emily Watkins, who has owned the Kingham Plough with husband Miles for seven years, said: "When I won the south west heat the phones went mad. There has been a big uplift in forward bookings. When I was on the show last year there was an increase in advance bookings but this time it has been for more immediate bookings too."

She is planning to feature her Great British Menu starter and fish dishes on the pub's menu.

Trade was up 16k a week at the 68- cover pub in the two weeks following Watkins winning the south west final, with trade set to increase further now that she has been named a national champion.

The pub, which has seven rooms, has also picked up another 1,000 followers on twitter since being on the show.

Watkins said: "Being on the show has given a real boost to the team. Everyone is really excited about it."

Due to increase in trade the pub is going to employ two new front-of-house staff members.

Watkins said she has no plans for another pub.

She added: "We are really happy with what we are doing. We have grown in the past year and we are really proud of what we are putting out there."

 

 

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