2014 in review: Bumper year for award-winning chefs entering pub trade

By Noli Dinkovski

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Pub trade Great british menu Inn Chef Chefs

Dominic Chapman opened the Beehive in Berkshire this year
Dominic Chapman opened the Beehive in Berkshire this year
One of the biggest highlights of the calendar year has been the number of high-profile chefs who have taken on pubs for the first time.

To celebrate their arrival, here’s PubFood’s run-down of the leading chefs who have plumped for pubs in 2014.

Brett Sutton, former head chef at the two AA Rosette Eastbury Hotel, in Sherborne, Dorset, got the ball rolling in February when he took on the leasehold of the White Post at Rimpton, in Somerset.

Sutton pledged to offer restaurant-standard food in a pub environment. He was followed in May by TV chef James Tanner, who opened the Kentish Hare, in Bidborough, Devon, with his brother Chris. Together, they also run the Tanners restaurant in Plymouth.

A third leading West Country-based chef joined the pub trade in July. Nathan Outlaw, who is known for his two Michelin-starred fish and seafood restaurant in Rock, Cornwall, teamed up with Sharp’s Brewery to open the Mariners, also in Rock.

The Mariners, which offers a seafood-focused menu, is the brewery’s first pub.

Outlaw also owns a second restaurant in Cornwall, and runs Outlaw’s at the Capital Hotel, in London.

TV chefs

A number of chefs who have made impacts on TV cooking competitions have also entered the industry this year.

Colin McGurran, a two-time Great British Menu winner, has ploughed £500,000 of his own money into the Hope & Anchor, in South Ferriby, Lincolnshire.

McGurran, who owns nearby Winteringham Fields restaurant, had hoped to reopen the pub – which was devastated by last winter’s floods – by Christmas. It is now scheduled to open next Easter.

Simon Salt, a former quarter-finalist on MasterChef: The Professionals, plans to have his first pub open in time for Christmas.

Salt, who has worked at a number of Michelin-starred restaurants, has acquired the lease of the White Bull, in Gisburn, Lancashire, from Star Pubs & Bars.

Meanwhile, MasterChef 2010 winner Dhruv Baker took on the Jolly Gardeners in Wandsworth, west London, in October.

In nearby Fulham, Claude Compton is to open a pub in January. The man behind restaurant Claude’s Kitchen and Champagne bar Amuse Bouche said he will look to open more sites if the Tommy Tucker is a success.

The most recent high-profile chef to join the pub trade is Tom Sellers, who will reopen DJ Chris Evans’ former pub the Lickfold Arms, in Petworth, West Sussex, on 12 December.

Sellers gained a Michelin star within six months of opening the Restaurant Story, in London, last year.

Branching out

There have also been a handful of chefs who have left pubs to set up on their own. French chef Cedric Bosi left his role at Jolly Fine Pubs to take on the leasehold of the Charlton Arms in Ludow, Shropshire.

The dual-site Jolly Fine Pubs is owned by Cerdric’s brother Claude, who also owns two Michelin-starred London restaurant Hibiscus.

Justin Brown took on Berkshire pub the Fifield Inn, in March. Brown joined the Green King leasehold from the Palmer Arms in Dorney.

Also in Berkshire, Dominic Chapman acquired the leasehold of the Beehive, in White Waltham, from Enterprise Inns. Chapman – a finalist on Great British Menu earlier this year – was formerly executive chef of the Royal Oak, in Paley Street, where he won the pub a Michelin star.

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