Dominic Chapman: ‘I’m done with running 3 or 4 pubs’

By Nicholas Robinson contact

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Gastro pub, Estrella damm

Elite chef Dominic Chapman will focus on growing his Top 50 Gastropub the Beehive and making it the best it can be.

Chapman, who has been at the White Waltham, Berkshire, gastropub for the past four years, has been a regular on the Estrella Damm Top 50 Gastropubs​ list over its 10-year history.

At a regional dinner this week, backed by Estrella Damm, the chef said his prime focus was on growing the pub - running any other businesses was of no interest to him.  

“The plans for the future are to continue to grow, get better and focus on our product and making it better every day.

‘One pub that’s really good’

“I’m done with having two, three or four pubs; one pub that’s really, really good is my focus for the simple reason that when you’ve got one pub you can give your whole attention to that place.”

Chapman, who spoke to The Morning Advertiser ​in a video interview ahead of the regional dinner, said customers came to the pub to see him and how he cooked, and that would be his focus going forward.

Meanwhile, Good Pub Guide ​editor Fiona Stapley wrote this month that fancy gastropub food was falling out of favour with consumers.

The 37th​ guide, which was published this month, urged pubs to ditch fancy food and stick to classics.

On Radio 4’s Sunday Morning Magazine​show (9 September), Stapley argued that dishes on some gastropub menus were too complex.

Give customers what they want

Although Chapman had not heard the criticism, his opinion was that pubs should give customers what they wanted to eat.

Chapman said: “In one hand I’d like to thank the Good Pub Guide ​because they awarded us County Dining Pub of the Year, but on the other hand, no I don’t think pub food is too complicated.

“There’s so much knowledge out there with the consumer; people love food, it’s on TV every time you turn it on and people know what they’re eating these days. If a pub is cooking good food, then that’s what it’s all about.

“People do want a burger or fish and chips, but sometimes people want a roast grouse or a hare pie, you need to be creative but you need to know what your customers want.”

Related topics: Chefs