Staffordshire’s newest luxury hotel, The Tawny, is excited to announce the appointment of Andrew Watts as Head Chef at their striking flagship restaurant, The Plumicorn. With 19 years of experience and an ambitious vision for the years ahead, Andrew plans to achieve critical recognition for the restaurant. With a new menu, fresh ideas and adventurous flavours, The Plumicorn is set to become a true destination restaurant for 2023.
Before joining The Tawny, Andrew Watts was Group Executive Chef at Hawkstone Hall and Gardens in Shropshire, where he was responsible for setting up the kitchen from scratch during the property’s £5 million refurbishment. The completion of the kitchen gardens allowed Andrew to practice seasonality and sustainability, teaching his team the importance of creating menus inspired by fresh produce.
On his new position, Andrew said, “I am excited and inspired to join the team at The Plumicorn. The restaurant’s 2023 agenda remains in keeping with the hotel’s longstanding emphasis on sustainable, local produce, but guests can expect a wider variety of food to choose from next year, with some unexpected twists. You couldn’t ask for a better location to be inspired by nature than The Tawny’s 70-acre estate, and by carefully selecting ingredients that celebrate each season, we hope that all menus at the hotel, from breakfast to lunch, dinner and afternoon tea will reflect this.”
With a menu that speaks of Staffordshire and the Peak District, Andrew plans to utilise quality local ingredients sourced from the hotel’s own kitchen garden as well as the neighbouring area.
The winter menu highlights include a choice of Pigeon Breast with hispi cabbage, hazelnut and blackberries or Baked Celeriac with mushroom tea, pickled celeriac, yeast and mushroom crumb to start, Venison with maple, quince, baby turnip, pearl barley and chocolate or Stonebass with brown shrimp, dill, potato and samphire sauce to follow. Regulars at the hotel will be pleased to find the iconic Toffee Apple featuring roasted apple, cinnamon crumb and salted caramel still on the dessert menu alongside a choice of Lemon and Honey Parfait and vegan Chocolate Amaretto.
Andrew’s appointment is the cherry on a towering cake of accomplishments for The Tawny in 2022. This year has seen the hotel open six new Hillside Treehouses and eight new Retreat rooms.
The team also employed a new head gardener to tame the 70-acre estate: Jonathon Race, who set to work building a team of Staffordshire locals to bring the beautiful grounds to their full potential.
The hotel’s young Hotel Manager Josh Chadwick was promoted to General Manager in October 2022, following his success in The Caterer’s 2022 Acorn Awards and the team partnered with GAIA Skincare to launch a new treatment menu in the onsite spa ‘The Thatched Cottage’.
Alongside The Plumicorn, guests can enjoy a more casual dining affair at The Feather Lounge, located inside the main restaurant building. With an equally stunning view of the gardens, guests can expect freshly made wood-fired pizzas, delicious tapas and a selection of charcuterie boards and flatbreads. Alternatively, small groups will be pleased to discover The Perch, sitting above the main dining room at The Plumicorn, an intimate dining space for private dining and Afternoon Tea in 2023.
Luxurious Magazine: What inspired you to become a chef?
Andrew: When I was growing up, I always took inspiration from my mum with her cooking. She used to cook an array of dishes from her little black cake book and spent countless afternoons teaching me the recipes and methods.
LM: Where did you begin your career in hospitality?
Andrew: I went to college to study my NVQ in cookery and got my first role as a commis chef in Thrales in Lichfield. Here I learnt all about commercial kitchens and true hospitality. This is also where I found my passion for Pastry.
LM: What cuisine are you most influenced by (if any)?
Andrew: French skillset with English produce. I like the French skillset as it’s traditional cooking, but I’m inspired to work with fresh local produce. You can’t beat English fish and local farm-raised meats.
LM: Do you use any particular techniques in your cooking?
Andrew: Classic techniques with a modern interpretation; you never stop learning new skills.
LM: What is your vision for The Plumicorn?
Andrews: I hope to achieve a variety of accolades and self-sustainability over the next few years. I would like The Plumicorn to be seen as one of the best places to eat in The Midlands and consequently become a household name.
The Tawny – Where and how?
Address: The Tawny Hotel, Consall Gardens, Consall, Stoke-On-Trent, ST9 0AG.
You can find more information on the hotel and its facilities at www.thetawny.co.uk.
A one-night stay at The Tawny starts from £230 in the Wildwood Huts, £360 in the Lookout, £400 in the Boathouses, £420 in the Treehouses and £560 in a Retreat, based on two sharing and inclusive of bed and breakfast.
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