Andi Walker, semi-finalist in the 2015 BBC Two series MasterChef: The Professionals, is to take over the Riverside Inn in Chelmsford following a nine-month residency upstairs at the venue.
Walker, who trained under Anton Edelmann, has worked in roles in high-profile kitchens, including the Woodford, East London and the three-AA-rosette Tuddenham Mill in Suffolk. His pop-up restaurant has taken him to the Noise of Strangers in Leeds and Café Otto in central Paris.
The Riverside Inn is part of the Blue Group which is owned by Steve Andrews. Walker was appointed executive chef of the Blue Group which consists the Blue Anchor in Feering, the Blue Boar in Abridge, and the William B and the Riverside, both in Chelmsford, in September this year.
Walker will be taking full control of the restaurant’s operation from January 2018, with a brand-new, bistro-inspired approach.
The pub will be split into three parts – a bar area, the main restaurant downstairs and a fine-dining restaurant upstairs.
This will consist of a seven-course tasting menu which will change in line with the availability of local and seasonal produce.
Walker said: “Following the continued success of my pop-up restaurant on the top floor, it seems natural to make this a permanent fixture.
“I’m also delighted to take over of the rest of The Riverside Inn and can’t wait to start serving amazing dishes in the pub downstairs. We hope as an independent restaurant with local suppliers, the people in Chelmsford and the surrounding areas will get behind us and really enjoy what we are about to do.”
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