An award-winning chef is set to reopen a popular village pub near Melton with a focus on relaxed dining.
Dominic Clarke has taken over the 16th century Grants Free House, at Burrough on the Hill, and is relaunching it under its original name, the Stag and Hounds.
He was formerly head chef at Lancashire-based the Barn at Moor Hall, which was voted the UK’s number one restaurant.
He ran it for Mark Birchall for nearly two years where he won a prestigious Michellin Bib Gourmand, two AA Rosettes, a Good Food Guide score of four and the accolade of Lancashire Life best newcomer.
Dom said: “We are aiming to source food from local suppliers, championing the best of the area’s offerings and showcasing native breeds such as long horn beef, saddleback pork and fantastic rapeseed oil from local farms.
“Also in the pipeline we have plans to develop a kitchen garden to grow some of the pub’s veg on site, something I feel passionately about.”
His love for ‘growing your own’ comes from a stint at a kitchen gardener at the Michelin-starred Isle of Eriska hotel in Scotland.
Dom took over the role temporarily after a co-worker suffered an accident while he was also senior sous chef.
His knowledge developed while working at Moor Hall where he would spent time chatting with head kitchen gardener, Catherine Butters, about what was available and when so he could plan menus around food from the garden.
Dom said: “We plan to have a weekly changing menu which evolves with the seasons and highlights the best of what is available at the market.
“Having worked in a one-star environment which changed the menu daily, this is something I feel keeps the place fresh and exciting.
“It’s a new experience every time.”
Some of the beers will come from the adjacent Parish Brewery, where Baz Parish produces his popular brews, as well as other firm favourites with regulars.
The Main Street pub is due to reopen on the weekend of September 28/29.