A MICHELIN-starred chef has returned to a boutique country manor house hotel near Leamington.
After working for the award-winning Eden Hotel Collection, Simon Haigh, has re-joined Mallory Court Hotel and Spa as chef director.
He returns to the helm, 20 years after garnering a Michelin star for the restaurant in 2001 which it held for a decade.
The 3 AA Rosette restaurant, the Dining Room, has an ever-changing menu which focuses on innovative, contemporary dishes created from seasonal produce.
Over the festive period, diners can experience a daily, changing ‘Tastes of the Season’ five-course tasting menu.
Simon said: “I am excited to be back at Mallory Court again. We cook with the seasons and change the menu every day. I like the seasonality of things – the produce not only tastes better but it is more sustainable and you have less food waste.”
Throughout the year much of the produce is sourced from the hotel’s own Kitchen Garden, tended by estate’s manager Chris Holdsworth and gardener Giles Holdsworth.
Simon has shown a keen eye for nurturing talent – fellow Great British Chef Alan Murchison worked under him as a 19-year-old. He also mentored 2016 Roux Scholarship winner Harry Guy, from Leamington Spa, whose first job was at Mallory Court after college. The 31-year-old has since worked with celebrated chef Joshua Skenes at Saison in San Francisco and is set to open his new restaurant, X by Harry Guy, in Chester next summer.
The Yorkshire-born chef continues this ethos, currently employing 17-year-old young apprentice Sam Bennett, from the nearby village of Bishop’s Tachbrook, in his kitchen.
Simon won his first Michelin star as head chef at Scotland’s Inverlochy Castle near Fort William in Inverness-shire, then joined Seaham Hall hotel in Northumberland, where he gained three AA rosettes. He has also worked at Raymond Blanc’s Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons in Oxfordshire.
Nick Hanson, General Manager of Mallory Court, said: “We are delighted Simon has returned. He is one of the most respected fine dining chefs in the UK and his food is a big draw.
“We know people enjoying coming to Mallory Court for special occasions and the gastronomic experience, not just in the restaurant but in our private dining rooms. We write the menu every day and it really is something extra special to celebrate Christmas and New Year.”