Time flies and it's almost been a year since you joined Jesmond Dene House. How has your first year been?
The first year has been amazing! We have a really incredible team in the kitchen and I feel grateful to be surrounded by some very talented chefs. Coming into a hotel that serves lunch, dinner, afternoon tea, weddings and private dining functions was a challenge. Having said that, I’ve really taken to the transition – the entire team thrives off the constant hustle and bustle.
There are some big changes coming to the Restaurant. Alongside the physical refurbishment, will the food be changing, too?
Absolutely, in fact the menu is already live - ahead of the refurb! I am really excited for the new menu. We’ve mixed up the style a bit – It’s something different to what people expect of me. We’ve listened to our guest’s feedback – and with the entire kitchen and front of house team, we’ve decided to create a new menu that is ingredient-led, generous dishes that are cooked consistently. From my point of view, I just love cooking and eating, and I really think that everyone visiting us will enjoy this style, too. First thing on the list, throw away the tweezers!
What are your hopes and aspirations for year two and beyond?
Year 2 and beyond! The sky is the limit, really. We hope to breathe some fresh air into the restaurant. It’s really great to receive accolades and recognition, but it’s the old cliché. I just want a booming restaurant. We want for as many people to enjoy our food, our Geordie hospitality, and of course, our beautiful hotel and gardens. I am really dedicated to training and want to see our team grow. I want the team here to move forward, gain experience, and get creative. We want to show Newcastle and beyond what Jesmond Dene House is all about. The roots are in place, we’re starting to grow and you’re about to see us bloom!