Barrow and Ulverston eateries’ celebrity chef sales boom
A PUB chain which owns venues in both Barrow and Ulverston has seen food sales double since the arrival of its very own celebrity chef.
Lancaster Brewery, which owns pubs and hotels across Lancashire and Cumbria, hired Steven Doherty as executive chef to help overhaul the food on offer at each of its establishments. Included in his portfolio is The Mill at Ulverston, with refurbishment of the popular watering hole now complete after a six figure revamp.
Mr Doherty was previously head chef at Albert Roux’ Le Gavroche in London, and was the first Briton to secure the elusive third Michelin star.said: "We have introduced fine but casual dining to Ulverston. There are French influences from my background, and a huge selection of local Cumbrian essence.
"This isn’t pretentious, tiny portioned food at huge prices, it is quality food, fairly priced that looks beautiful and is served with thought, energy and effort."
"The main menu has a bedrock of pub favourites, with around 20 per cent consistent, with minor seasonal tweaks. The rest can alter reflecting on our head chef's desire to stretch his talents and offer variety to his diners."
Mr Doherty, He added: "It's rare for pubs in our area to really invest in their food offering. But we're focusing heavily now on making our food truly exceptional, moving into modern cooking styles and broadening our menu offering.
"In essence, we are looking to delight our customers with even better food and an even better array of drink choices."
Head chef at The Mill is Nigel Bullock, who worked with Mr Doherty at The First Floor Cafe in Windermere.
Mr Bullock said: "The Mill is a brilliant venue. I'm delighted to be working with such a talented team of chefs. We have got some fantastic ideas, building on the food we already produce, by adding a few more challenging and complicated dishes.
"I am really looking forward to getting stuck in, and also meeting a few of our ever growing band of regular diners."
The Duke of Edinburgh Hotel in Barrow, also owned by the brewery, has had its an overhaul. Head chef there is Sam Moore, who also previously worked with Mr Doherty at The First Floor Cafe in Windermere.
Mr Moore said: "The Duke is a famous Barrovian landmark. When I heard Steven was taking the lead on their food offering I leaped at the chance of getting involved.
"I have a real passion for great food, I love cooking to impress. I want my kitchen to produce really special food that can be glamorous or casual depending on what our customer chooses from the menu."
Bosses at Lancaster Brewery are now looking to build on Mr Doherty’s incredible success in South Cumbria so far.
Phil Simpson of Lancaster Brewery said: "Steven is a very rare talent in having both the experience running one of the best kitchens in Europe, alongside his Cumbrian gastro pub expertise. Recruiting him was hard work and took six months of negotiations, however, since his arrival we've seen our food sales more than double and the quality of the meals his team produces is extraordinary."