One of Bristol’s brightest star chef’s is coming to take over the kitchen at Tetbury’s The Priory Inn.
The Arkell’s Brewery hotel has undergone a management makeover since Greg Heath took over the reins of the hotel in July.
New Head chef Tom Bannister, 39, has worked at some of Bristol’s best eateries including The Souk Kitchen where he rose to the position of head chef. His first chef job was actually in the Cotswolds as sous chef at the famed Wild Duck at Ewan, before he moved to Bristol in 2014 and found himself working with Guillaume Ducasse, son of Alain Ducasse and Maria Patrinos, now of The Lounge Group, at the then little known Mediterranean eatery – Souk Kitchen.
Tom is thrilled to be heading back to the region and bringing fresh ideas to The Priory Inn in Tetbury whose ties with some of Gloucestershire’s best local producers, and mission to source ingredients solely from the local vicinity, is a strong as ever. “‘We are planning to introduce a new, more casual approach to dinning focusing on the social side of eating, using the charming dining space with its large open wood fire at the centre,” the talented chef said.
He began his chef life at the age of just 11as a KP in his native Birmingham where he learnt to clean seafood. His father was a master butcher and this led them to the Cotswolds where they set up their own restaurant and had their own pigs, purchased from model and movie star – Liz Hurley. “It all started with a few Mangalitsa’s but we then went on to various other rare breeds,” Toms said. “It was about sustainable, organic rearing, it is better to know your beast to know what you are putting in your pan – piglet to plate.”
“The food and the atmosphere was fantastic and had an amazing impact on the way I cook,” Tom said of his time with Souk. “I eventually became head chef at the Clifton restaurant. There is so much I have taken from this experience and was a tough decision to return to the Cotswolds and take on the role as Head Chef at The Priory.”
Tom joins the team at the The Priory at a crossroads in this beloved eateries future as the food take centre stage in an exciting new direction. Manager Greg said: “It is great to have someone of Tom’s calibre on board. The new menu will feature many of the creative ideas Tom has tried and tested during his career, and include an exciting new choice of small sharing plates which diners and drinkers alike will be able to enjoy before indulging in our award winning wood fire pizzas.”