Ben Wilkinson to join South Lodge as head chef of the Pass

16 June 2022 by
Ben Wilkinson to join South Lodge as head chef of the Pass

Ben Wilkinson is to leave Michelin-starred Lake District restaurant the Cottage in the Wood to take up a head chef role at the Pass at South Lodge.

He will join the Sussex hotel in August alongside his partner, Monika Zurawska, who will lead the front of house team.

For the past two years South Lodge has hosted short-term chef residencies, but general manager David Connell said "the time is right" a more permanent team to take over.

Wilkinson has spent five years at the Cottage in the Wood, with the restaurant winning a Michelin star in 2019.

Writing on Instagram, the chef said "the time has come" for him and Zurawska to move on. "We have had a lovely time and would like to thank all the team and all of our fantastic guests for making it so special," he said.

Liam Berney, owner of the Cottage in the Wood, told The Caterer: "Ben and Monika have very much been a team and elevated what we do here at the Cottage in the Wood.

"The achievements have been absolutely remarkable, and Kath and I are deeply indebted to what they've done, what they've achieved here, and wish them well for the future. They've got the dream job for them."

Wilkinson's menu at the 28-seat the Pass will include Sussex Downs venison with fennel, caper, smoke and rye; and wild sea trout with cucumber, oysters, and roe.

Connell said: "The Pass has always been about providing excellence and fabulous dining experiences, and we believe Ben is the chef to deliver this for the longer term."

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