9 top chefs who own pubs and pub chains

By Nikkie Sutton

- Last updated on GMT

Star shift: celebrity chefs are running some of the best pubs in the UK
Star shift: celebrity chefs are running some of the best pubs in the UK
Pub kitchens are traditionally cramped, hot and stuffy but this doesn’t stop well-known figures making their foray into them or, chefs becoming celebrities for their outstanding work.

The Morning Advertiser ​takes a look at which celebrities have opened pubs throughout the years.

Tom Kerridge

Celebrity chef Tom Kerridge opened his first gastropub in 2005, gaining his first Michelin star within a year.

Following the success of the Hand & Flowers in Marlow, Buckinghamshire, Kerridge and his wife Beth opened the Coach, also in Marlow, in 2014.

In 2017, it was announced that Kerridge would be opening the Butcher’s Tap​ in the same town. Fast forward one year to February 2018 and Kerridge revealed plans to open a new restaurant​ – his first site in London.

The restaurant, which will be at the Corinthia Hotel London in Westminster, central London, aims to be a relaxed British brasserie-style dining room.

It will be situated on the site that is currently Massimo, on the ground floor of the hotel, with a separate direct entrance off Northumberland Avenue, and a new and updated interior design.

Mark Sargeant

Ex-Restaurant Gordon Ramsay chef Mark Sargeant runs the Duke William in Ickham, Canterbury, Kent, alongside his restaurant estate.

The pub was Sargeant’s third venue and prides itself on serving locally produced food for families to enjoy in style.

Sargeant was also instigated the opening of Ramsay’s three pubs – the Narrow in Limehouse, east London; the Warrington in Maida Vale, west London (now owned by Faucet Inn); and the Devonshire in Chiswick, west London (no longer owned by Gordon Ramsay Holdings); as well as being instrumental in the opening of restaurant Foxtrot Oscar in Chelsea, west London.

Heston Blumenthal

Celebrity chef and owner of the Michelin-starred Hind's Head pub in Bray, Berkshire, Heston Blumenthal also owns the Crown at Bray alongside the Fat Duck restaurant too.

Both pubs feature on the Estrella Damm Top 50 Gastropubs list at number 23 and 43 respectively.

Raymond Blanc

The White Brasserie Company, a collection of 17 pubs in the south-east and owned by French chef Raymond Blanc.

The company is owned by the Brasserie Bar Co, which also operates the Brasserie Blanc chain of restaurants.

Antony Worrall Thompson

The former Ready, Steady, Cook​ chef Antony Worrall Thompson runs the Greyhound in Rotherfield Peppard near Henley on Thames, Oxfordshire, with his wife.

He also part-owned the Lamb in Satwell, also in Oxfordshire, until 2012 when it went into administration after reports the pub had poor sales during the previous Christmas.

Tommy Banks

Yorkshire country pub the Black Swan, at Oldstead, was awarded the accolade of ‘best restaurant in the world’ based on a poll of customer reviews.

The pub beat competition from Raymond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons restaurant in Great Milton, Oxfordshire, which came in second, and former top-listed Restaurante Martín Berasategui in Lasarte-Oria, north-east Spain, which was this year placed fifth having been number one since 2015.

The Black Swan was the first UK dining venue to top the world category of the annual Travellers’ Choice TripAdvisor awards since their inception in 2012.

The accolade is the culmination of a rise for the team at the pub, led by brothers Tommy and James Banks, who took over the venue at the ages of 17 and 19 respectively.

It was also announced this month (April) that the Banks family is set to unveil a second site in a city location.

Roots will be the family’s second venue, following on from the Black Swan, where Tommy is in the kitchen and James is front of house.

Stephen Terry

Stephen Terry’s stellar Welsh pub – the Hardwick in Abergavenny, south Wales, is a favourite dining spot for the country’s foodie elite.

Terry worked with Marco Pierre White in the early days of his career and was awarded his first Michelin star aged just 25 at the Canteen in Chelsea Harbour, west London.

After taking a sabbatical to France, he returned to London at Oliver Peyton’s restaurant, Coast in Mayfair.

It was while commuting from his home in south Wales to the Pear Tree Inn, Whitley, Wiltshire, Terry noticed the Horse & Jockey pub came on the market.

The site was in need of some new love and from here, the Hardwick was born within four weeks of purchase.

Daniel Clifford

The Flitch of Bacon in Dunmow, Essex’s chef owner Daniel Clifford also runs restaurant Midsummer House in Cambridge, which has two Michelin stars.

The Flitch has a far more accessible price point than its sister restaurant and offers more traditional, but no less refined, dishes.

It was named as one of the top 100 eateries in the UK by The Morning Advertiser​’s sister title Restaurant ​magazine and Clifford has spoken of his desire to bring a Michelin star to Essex with his pub.

Tom Kitchin

Award-winning gastropub the Scran & Scallie in Edinburgh is a holder of a Bib Gourmand and is the creation of two of Scotland’s chefs – Michelin-starred Tom Kitchin and Dominic Jack.

The pub, which opened in 2013 and is located in the busy neighbourhood of Stockbridge, Edinburgh, is a venture from the team behind the popular Michelin-starred restaurant the Edinburgh and the award-winning Castle Terrace Restaurant – both also in Edinburgh.

  • If you're looking to buy a pub or add to your portfolio, there are hundreds available on The Morning Advertiser​'s property site. Click here​ to find out more.

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