Top gastropub chefs to host ‘epic food battle’

By Daniel Woolfson

- Last updated on GMT

Lobster with squid ink cracker, served at the Star Inn, Harome
Lobster with squid ink cracker, served at the Star Inn, Harome

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Two of the country's top gastropub chefs are set to host an exclusive 'Battle of the Smiths' cook-off next month.

Steven Smith, chef-patron of the Freemasons at Wiswell​, Lancashire, and Stephen Smith, head chef at Andrew Pern's Michelin-starred pub the Star Inn at Harome​, Yorkshire, will face-off at the event, held at the Freemasons, on 21 April.

This will be the second Battle of the Smiths to take place – last year's saw the Freemasons' Smith triumph.  

The two chefs will prepare a six-course menu for diners, with each of them serving a starter, main and dessert.


Freemasons Arms Chef Steven Smith
Steven Smith of the Freemasons at Wiswell

Guests will score each dish as it is served and the winner will be announced at the end of the night. Tickets cost £70 per head for the menu or £110 with a paired flight of wine.

Both pubs placed in the top 10 of this year's Top 50 Gastropubs – the Star Inn rose from fifth to third place, while the Freemasons retained sixth place for the second year in a row.

Front-of-house manager at the Freemasons Agnieszka Tyczka was also named Front of House Manager of the Year at the awards.


Smith previously told the Publican’s Morning Advertiser​: "We stay true to being a pub but the food is so far removed from pub food. The dishes could sit on the tables of many top restaurants up and down the country, that's the secret to our success – we really have worked hard to work the two together."

The Freemasons at Wiswell also came first the in Good Food Guide​'s Top 50 Pubs list 2016.

Watch exclusive video interviews with Steven Smith​ and Andrew Pern​. 

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