Acorn winners 2012 – Steven Smith

28 September 2012
Acorn winners 2012 – Steven Smith

Age 29

Position Chef-patron, the Freemasons at Wiswell, Clitheroe

Nominator Nick White

Proudest moment Opening the Freemasons and arriving at this point.

Greatest inspiration My dad, who taught me the importance of working hard.

Ambition To make the Freemasons the best dining pub in the UK within the next five years.

Steven Smith worked his way through kitchens at some of the most respected restaurants in the country, including the Box Tree, Ilkley, and Gilpin Lodge, Windermere, then took his first head chef position at Stanley House hotel, near Preston, in 2007. His big break came in 2009, when he became chef-patron at the Freemasons at Wiswell.

His business acumen and visionary cooking have pushed turnover to £1.1m, four times higher than under the previous owners. Similarly, gross profit margin has increased from 55% to 65%, due to competitively priced menus and quality ingredients.

Steven's achievements have seen him win many accolades, including Best Newcomer in the 2011 Publican awards. Freemasons has also been awarded the Bib Gourmand by the Michelin Guide for the second consecutive year. His next goal is a Michelin star. Few would bet against him.

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