The award winning Buntingford Kitchen has welcomed a new member of the kitchen team. Jonathan Oates previously worked at pubs with modern British dining, such as The Three Tuns in Ashwell and The College Arms in Hertford Heath.
Essex-born chef Jonathan is a great fit for the Buntingford Kitchen team, and a strong advocate of the use of locally sourced, seasonal ingredients in cooking. Previously Jonathan has hand-picked excellent local suppliers such as Toby at The Cheese Plate, Wobbly Bottom Farm, Fox Holes Farms, Crumps of Ashwell, Days of Ashwell, Sparshots & Stickleback and other family-run, local businesses.
Other experience includes time spent at highly regarded Essex gastro pub The Swan in Felsted. Jonathan succeeded in bringing the option of a formal dining experience to the customer in an informal atmosphere, surpassing guests’ expectations.
Having also worked in Sheffield, at the Walnut Club, Jonathan practised the art of fine dining under the tutorship of Nick Wilson. In the five years Jonathan spent there he assisted in the opening of a second Bras style site and progressed to Executive Chef. Both restaurants featured in the Michelin guide.
Jonathan believes in bringing a touch of humour to his work, so expect to see a cheeky pun or two on our menus in the future!
“I am looking forward to getting back into restaurants and the new challenge of Buntingford. I will be keeping the menus seasonal and will be looking to bring more locality to the menu, whilst still keeping up with modern food trends,” Jonathan tells us.
He has already been in talks with Pearces farm shop this week, a company the Buntingford Kitchen has already developed a strong relationship with. Jonathan is looking to building on that and ensure Pearces’ home-grown produce takes pride of place in our menus in future.
Expect to see specials featuring produce from Wobbly Bottom Farm and Hitchin Lavender this weekend too, as well as a new vegetarian dish on the menu. Jonathan’s first specials include a starter of Wobbly Bottom goat’s cheese roulade, semi dried tomatoes and black olives, a main course of beetroot pearl barley ‘risotto’ with Wensleydale, Granny Smith, walnuts and radish and a dessert special of chocolate and Hitchin lavender tart served with honeycomb ice cream and raspberries.