Top 50 Gastropubs

Gastropub Chef of the Year is Staith House chef-patron

By Nicholas Robinson

- Last updated on GMT

John Calton takes inspiration from other top UK kitchens
John Calton takes inspiration from other top UK kitchens

Related tags Newcastle upon tyne Chef

North East gastropub chef John Calton of the Staith House in North Shields, near Newcastle, has secured the title of Gastropub Chef of the Year at the Estrella Damm Top 50 Gastropubs list and awards reveal.

The award was presented to Calton by celebrity chef Tom Kerridge of the two Michelin-starred Hand & Flowers and Coach, in Marlow, Buckinghamshire, at an exclusive lunch held at the Hermitage Road Bar & Restaurant in Hitchin.

Calton and the team also managed to snap themselves a space on the top 50 list at number 31 and were among three north east gastropubs and 11 others from the north on the list.

In little under three years, chef proprietor John Calton and business partner James Laffan have turned around their quayside pub from a drinks-heavy local into a north-east culinary destination.

Lost £6,000

When the pair first launched the business, which also won Food Pub of the Year at last year’s Great British Pub Awards, they lost £6,000 just keeping it open.

Guest judge and managing director of Inn Places David Hancock, said Calton’s enthusiasm and eagerness to constantly learn new things by working in other chefs’ kitchens made him a winner.

Food editor at the Publican’s Morning Advertiser ​Nicholas Robinson, said: “Calton is truly deserving of this award. In fewer than three years he has made a big name for himself and the Staith House in the trade and beyond.

“After visiting Stephen Harris’s the Sportsman in Seasalter, Kent, number one on this year’s list, Calton started making his own salt, butter and charcuterie.

‘Pushing the boundaries of the trade’

“It’s chefs such as Harris and Calton – as well as the others on the list – who are pushing the boundaries and putting the trade in the spotlight for good reasons.”

To see who made this year’s Estrella Damm Top 50 Gastropubs list and who won the specialist category awards, visit​.

Top 50 Gastropubs 2016 was sponsored by headline sponsor Estrella Damm in association with Nestlé​ Chef, Appletiser and Schweppes and Berkmann Wine Cellars.

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