Former Jamie Oliver Restaurants chef takes on pub

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

Previous experience: Kanwar Gurmohan worked at Jamie Oliver Restaurants for six years
Previous experience: Kanwar Gurmohan worked at Jamie Oliver Restaurants for six years
Jamie Oliver Restaurants’ former operations chef Kanwar Gurmohan has taken on the lease of a Surrey pub and is undertaking a joint £272,000 refurbishment of the site.

The Surrey Cricketers is Gurmohan’s first pub, which he plans to open later this summer (August) and he is looking to establish a portfolio of pubs in the home counties in time.

He oversaw the culinary offer of the £25m turnover Jamie Oliver Restaurants for six years and, prior to that, Gurmohan was executive chef for the Lord Mayor of London where he was responsible for major events ranging from the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee to presidential dinners.

Looking ahead, his plans for the Surrey Cricketers, which Gurmohan has leased from Heineken’s pub arm Star Pubs & Bars, include introducing traditional pub dishes alongside vegan and veggie options.

There will also be a wood-fired pizza oven that will provide stone-baked sourdough pizzas and slow-cooked wood-chipped smoked meats.

Food will be served from 11.30am daily and on weekends, will open at 10am for breakfast as well as a bottomless Prosecco breakfast brunch.

Drinks offer

There will be a variety of drinks on offer such as Beavertown Neck Oil and Maltsmiths, Birra Moretti and Heineken. The pub will also cater for guests wanting an alcohol-free offer with Heineken 0.0 lager on tap.

Part of the £272,000 investment includes a refurb and upgrade of the pub where the interior has been reconfigured to create a 120-seat restaurant with a bar for more casual drinking and dining, increasing seating capacity in the pub by more than 50%.

The pub’s exterior features new lighting, signage and planters alongside a new front garden area and landscaped rear garden with dedicated children’s play area.

Gurmohan said he wants to the pub to play a role at the heart of the community as well as showing live sports. He plans to hold wine and cask ale tasting sessions, cookery classes with butchers and fishmongers, and pizza dough stretch classes.

He added: “I’ve got a great team lined up for the Surrey Cricketers who are looking forward to opening the doors and meeting the local community to hear first-hand what they’d like from their pub. 

“I want to offer the sort of independently run, unique friendly pub with great food and drink that the area deserves, to support local suppliers and to help create local jobs.

“Longer term, I’m focused on developing a pub estate with the right offer for the locality. I am interested in pubs rather than casual dining as I believe this is where future growth lies, and they provide more income streams.

“Pubs are more relaxing environments for families and there is more space. On the high street, on the other hand, competition is fierce with lots of discounting that, ultimately, impacts the final product sold to diners.”

Extensive knowledge

Star Pubs & Bars regional operations director Dugald Macer highlighted how Gurmohan will use his experience to drive the pub forward.

Macer said: “The Surrey Cricketers is in a fantastic location with lots of space inside and out. 

“It just needed the décor, food and drinks being brought up to date. It will now have these and an enthusiastic team with innovative ideas to take it forward. 

“Gurmohan has an extensive knowledge of food from casual dining, to cafés and grab and go. He has a passion for food and an appreciation of high standards that will result in a great local. We look forward to working with him and wish him well with the Surrey Cricketers and his plans to grow a pub estate.

“The refurbishment brings our investment in Surrey in the first half of 2019 to £1.2m – part of the £50m investment Heineken is making in pubs around the country this year.”

To find out more about pubs for sale, lease and tenancy visit our property site​.

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