Born in Minster Lovell, home of Oxfordshire’s first Michelin starred restaurant “Lovells” & the place where my cooking career began.
The first time I entered a kitchen in 1995, I was washing up for the talented chef Marcus “Gus” Ashenford, who was fresh from spending three & a half years at the Waterside Inn, the prestigious three Michelin starred kitchen & home of the roux dynasty. Working with Gus inspired me to want to be the best & soon enough I progressed from dish washer to sous chef. Over the next 4 years we gained & retained Michelin stars in three different restaurants. One of which was in Chipping Norton itself, where Thai Shire is now situated.
In the first eight years of my career I worked under Gus & had many stages/training periods in some of the best restaurants in the country including the aforementioned Waterside Inn, & the innovative & exceptional Fat Duck with the amazing chef Heston Blumenthal both in Bray, Berkshire.
These experiences helped hone my skills in the kitchen whilst developing my understanding & appreciation for high quality fresh local foods. It also enabled me to take on many positions, culminating as head chef/manager in privately owned gastro pubs & high-quality boutique hotels. Although a wide & varied career, I also knew I would never be satisfied working for someone else. So when the opportunity to buy Whistlers with my partner Kerry came about in 2019, we threw everything we had into it, to give you the restaurant you see today.
My cooking style is very much placed in the classics with modern techniques focusing on exceptional ingredients & pure clean flavours. Whilst maintaining a level of consistency we rely heavily on the best produce available to us from the local farmers who we have formed great working relationships with.
It’s an honour to finally be doing exactly what I have always wanted to do & along with the rest of the wonderful team at Whistlers, we look forward to welcoming you.