An idiosyncratic chef who works unaided in the kitchen producing classical dishes with personality and flavour
Fine dining ventures don’t come much kookier than this. The Crown at Burchett’s Green is a countryside pub run exclusively by one family.
Dad Simon Bonwick works unaided in the kitchen and nine of his family members – yes, nine, you read that right – work front of house (his youngest, Rosie, is just four and in charge of picking fruit for desserts from the garden).
Bonwick senior spends the first few days of each week getting his ducks in a row before opening for business on Wednesdays. His food is French leaning – Eugénie Brazier, the first ever person to attract a total of six Michelin stars, is one of Simon’s main inspirations – and based on a mix of high quality French and UK-sourced produce. In his own words he is a soloist – one of a handful of chefs in the UK to cook completely unaided (he even does the washing up).
There’s no menu published online as it changes every day, but his repertoire includes crab with apple, tomato and cashew nuts; very slowly cooked lamb with sauce Paloise (a variation on Béarnaise with mint standing for tarragon); and bitter brittle chocolate with almond blancmange and pear sorbet.
His eldest sons Dean and George oversee the 20-cover dining room and have inherited their father’s somewhat idiosyncratic bent, presiding over a ‘haggle board’ of distinguished wines for which customers are required to barter.