Brett Barnes will take control of the kitchen at the newly refurbished Fox and Hounds pub in Barley, Hertfordshire.
Barnes, a former employee of the Michelin-starred Star Inn at Harome, Arbutus, Mark Hix’s flagship HIX and Faviken in Sweden, will oversee the gastropub’s £1,000,000 refurbishment before taking charge of the site’s day-to-day operations. The renovation is being spearheaded by owners Robin Skidmore and property developer Colin Blundell, who took on the pub last year.
Produce sold from the Grade II-listed 17th-century pub will come from the surrounding area. Local suppliers are set to include Essex-based The Rare Breed Meat Company, Cheese Plus, in Cambridge and Pinkster Gin, who are also based in Barley. The site will officially launch in early April.
Barnes said: “The Fox & Hounds has been a focal point of the community for centuries, but sadly it’s been closed for nearly seven years and has required some serious TLC to restore it to its 350-year-old glory.
“I’ve been looking to open my own restaurant for some time so when Robin and Colin came to me with this opportunity, I couldn’t wait to get started! An incredible amount of work has gone into the pub since we started the refurbishment and things are starting to take shape. We’re looking forward to opening to the public at the start of April.
“We’ve designed a really exciting menu that combines traditional pub classics with more progressive and seasonal dishes, all made using locally sourced ingredients. A number of partnerships with local suppliers are already in place and we’ll be announcing more in the coming weeks.”