Paul started life as a chef at Henley College Coventry when he was 16 years old. After college he got his first job in a small two rosette restaurant near Coventry, (formerly Haigs Hotel) working one on one with the head chef Paul Hartup an experienced classically trained chef.
From Haigs he moved to Le manoir aux quat saison and worked on the cold and hot starters, the garnish section, and in the pastry under the very talented Benoit Blin. This was a huge eye opener for a young chef so used to being in the kitchen with one other person – it was a fantastic experience and helped shape him become the chef he is today.
After this he moved around two and three rosette restaurants in the Midlands but a major turning point in his career was winning the William Heptinstall award that allowed him to stage at WD50 in New York, The French Laundry in California and L’auberge de lille in Lyon.
In 2008 he moved to Nottingham to work for Sat Bains as Sous Chef. This opportunity was the highlight of his career, and he learnt a huge amount working under Sat and Head Chef, John Freeman, and has great respect for them both. “One of my proudest moments at Sat’s was being part of the team when they gained 5 rosettes from the AA. This accolade isn’t easy to attain, which made it all the more special when we achieved it.”
In March of 2010 he took on his first Head Chef role at Tuddenham Mill in Suffolk; a beautiful converted water mill dating back around 1000 years.Tthe style of his food was natural modern British, with the focus on purity of flavour and using wild and seasonal ingredients. After a successful 4 years achieving 3 AA rosettes, 6/10 in the Good Food Guide, Top 50 in the UK in the Good Food Guide, an appearance on BBC 2’s Great British Menu and BBC1’s Saturday Kitchen, and winning Observer Food Monthly Young Chef of the year and The Good Food Guide best up and coming chef he decided it was time to move on to pastures new.
In February 2014 he took over as Head chef of the Dining room at Mallory court. An exciting and amazing opportunity to further his career and take the natural step up into the Relais Chateaux property. He has long admired Mallory Court as he grew up just down the road, and has always had huge respect for Simon Haigh and everything he achieved there.
Paul always longed for his own restaurant and finally, at the beginning of 2016, he and his wife Rhiain decided to take the plunge and try to raise the funds we needed by launching a crowdfunding campaign via Kickstarter. Paul quit his job, put all their savings in and went for it. After an emotional ‘all or nothing’ funding drive, where they spent a month panicking over whether it would work or not, they completed the project successfully and raised just over £100,000. With the additional help of some investors, Paul and Rhiain’s dream was set to become a reality.
After a year of searching for the right venue, a few disappointments and a bit of an emotional rollercoaster, they found an amazing site on Church Street in Stratford-upon-Avon. On 18th March 2017, they opened the doors of Salt a fine dining restaurant using the best produce, served in a relaxed atmosphere where you can sit back, relax and enjoy your dining experience.
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