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When he took over the kitchens at the stunningly located Glenapp Castle in Strathclyde in January 2013, Matt Worswick retained the hotel’s Michelin star. Now the former protégé of two-Michelin-starred David Everitt-Matthias (Le Champignon Sauvage, Cheltenham) has become chef-director of The Warehouse restaurant and bar (dish pictured above) in Southport – a move that’s certain to give this North Country seaside town a much needed culinary boost.
Meanwhile, Shropshire beckons again for Cedric Bosi. After four years operating his brother Claude’s London-based Fox & Grapes and Malt House pubs, Bosi has moved his family back to Ludlow. He has acquired the lease of the nine-bedroom Charlton Arms (dish pictured left) and is offering a menu focusing on British pub classics and the region’s best produce.
Elsewhere, there’s no stopping BBC MasterChef contestants. Building on the success of the Treby Arms in Devon, Anton Piotrowski (joint winner of MasterChef: The Professionals in 2012) has expanded his gastropub business by taking on The Springer Spaniel in Treburley, near Launceston in Cornwall. Ali Fraser, Anton’s sous-chef for the past 10 years, is in charge of the kitchen.
Up north, John Calton, who made the final three of MasterChef: The Professionals in 2010, has taken over an old pub on North Shields’ harbourside. The Staith House specialises in ‘meat from the farm, fish from the quay’, and combines the charm of a traditional boozer with a willingness to go that extra mile in the kitchen.
And it’s good to see that the 2009 MasterChef winner Mat Follas has bounced back from misfortune. In November 2013, we brought you the news that he had closed the Wild Garlic in Dorset. Now the New Zealand-born chef is to be found in Dorchester cooking solo two nights a week at The Casterbridge (dish pictured left) – a bijou guest house in the heart of the town. Expect creative, idiosyncratic cooking involving plenty of foraged and unusual ingredients. With Russell Brown’s Michelin-starred Sienna close by, it looks like Dorchester has the makings of an up-and-coming dining destination.
Another top local chef, Brett Sutton (formerly at The Eastbury Hotel in Sherborne) has opened his own pub right on the border between Dorset and Somerset. At The White Post, he is making use of an extensive network of local suppliers, homemade produce and foraged pickings for a menu that doesn’t try to be overambitious. Instead, punters can expect gussied-up traditional pub food backed by locally brewed ales and ciders.