Former executive chef of Michelin-starred Maze restaurant in London James Durrant has scooped the title after launching his first venture five months ago.
The Enterprise Inns lease is a traditional pub with a contemporary feel and high class food.
“I’m shocked and over the moon,” said Durrant. “I didn’t expect to win anything like this in the first year. What we’ve tried to do is not go too over the top and just cook good tasty food and pair it with the best service we can offer.
“My wife and I have two children now and made a decision to leave London. I’d always dreamed of doing my own restaurant but didn’t want to do one in central London. I felt that out of the City it is more acceptable to people to frequent a pub seven days a week than a restaurant, which tends to be more of a special occasion venue, so I thought a pub would be a more viable business.”
Durrant said trade has been up and down as a new business and very little PR has been done, instead trusting to word of mouth.
“The thing that really struck us is that James hasn’t gone down the fine dining route,” said The Good Food Guide consultant editor Elizabeth Carter. “Maze was really cutting edge modern cooking and the Plough Inn is just doing very good pub food. He is such a good chef and could have gone in any direction. The inspector went back three times — you want to go back the minute you leave.
"There are lots of fabulous pubs in the country but we just kept returning to this one. The quality is impeccable and the service is fantastic.”
This article was first published by The Publican’s Morning Advertiser on 13th August 2012